Monday, September 23, 2013

A Unique Twist on a Classic Dish!

Everyone remembers those days when you were young and constantly craved Mac 'n Cheese. I sure do. Some of us never grow up and to this day, I still crave that old classic dish. One beauty around this dish is the ability to customize and basically do whatever you want with it. Throw some bacon or lobster into this dish and it completely transforms it. Change it from a side dish to a main entree easily.

Craft Macaroni and Cheese | Mac 'n Cheese
The Gourmet Stuff !
Today, I share with you ROASTED GARLIC MACARONI AND CHEESE!!! Does it not sound delicious. The debut of this iconic dish merited more than a classic preparation. Someone cue the whole head of roasted garlic. Yes, a whole gargantuan head of garlic that’s roasted, mashed and then whisked into the easiest, cheesiest cheddar sauce.

Roasted Garlic


yield: 12 SERVINGS
prep time: 30 MIN
cook time: 1 1/4 HRS


For crumb topping:
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups Panko Japanese bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
For pasta and sauce:
1 head garlic
Olive oil
1 pound uncooked pasta (such as cavatappi, shells or rigatoni)
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
5 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cheddar cheese (white, yellow or a mix of both)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Make the crumb topping:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and chives, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until toasted slightly. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Toasted CrumbsBechamel
Make the pasta and sauce:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Slice the top one-third off the head of garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of garlic and crumple the foil to create a sealed packet. Roast the garlic for 30 minutes.
Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and squeeze the cloves into a bowl. Using a fork, mashing the cloves into a paste. Set aside.
Roasted Garlic
Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Butter a 13x9-inch shallow baking dish.
In a large, heavy saucepot (such as a Dutch oven), melt 1 stick butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and reserved garlic paste. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until golden. Whisk in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
Add the pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pot, stirring to combine. (It will be soupy. See Picture) Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle it with the reserved crumb topping and place it on a sheet tray (in the event it bubbles over while baking). Bake the macaroni and cheese for 20 to 25 minutes until it's golden brown and bubbling.
Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
It will be soupy looking before cooking!
Extra Notes:
The garlic head can be roasted, and the garlic gloves mashed, 1 day in advance. Store the garlic paste, covered, in the fridge.
The macaroni and cheese can be baked in a large baking dish or several smaller ramekins for individual servings.

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
Hopefully, your final dish should look something like this (if done right!). Enjoy

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