Anybody who really knows me knows that I love mac n cheese. For me it is the quintessential comfort food...it can be gourmet or...not...it can be made from scratch...or come from a box...it is just perfect. If I were to even write a cookbook there would be a whole chapter dedicated to mac n cheese (I'd even include my gourmet recipe for KD)...I just love love love it.
Monday night, as the wind was whipping against our windows I whipped up Stephane Reynauld's mac n cheese from his 365 Good Reasons to Sit Down and Eat. The method was slightly different from what I've done in the past...but it was easy. The recipe serves 6 (children...which seemed to escape my mind) so I halved it, and it did us...barely...but once I looked at the recipe again and saw the key word...children...oopsie...I registered my mistake and lamented the fact that there would be no leftovers for lunch...weep weep.
The method...I've got two tried and tested mac n cheese methods. The first....the family recipe...is layers of cooked macaroni and grated cheddar cheese, covered with some milk and baked in the oven. The second...making a cheese sauce to mix the macaroni into and then baked.
This one is a sort of combination...you cook up the macaroni...and while that is cooking you combine double cream (150ml for 3 children) with grated Gruyere (or 150g of whatever cheese)...2/3 of that is mixed into the cooked/drained pasta...that is then layered with slices of thick ham and topped with the last 1/3 of the creamy grated cheese mixture.
The combination of Gruyere and cream alone was enough to break my budget...imagine if I had made the whole recipe...and...in all honesty, while I love the taste of Gruyere, it made the mac a bit too greasy for my liking (and normally I do not mind a little grease)...but I did like the method and the layers of ham.