I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. A holiday centered around food and gratitude is my jam. This year, I was lucky enough to celebrate 3 times: 2 friendsgivings and 1 famsgiving.
As a cook, I hardly ever follow a recipe to a tee and when I’m coming up with my own dishes, I never make the same thing twice so it is a BIG DEAL that I made this mac the same way on 3 different occasions.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 pound macaroni
- about 1 pound white cheese, grated (gruyere and white cheddar are good but use whatever you like!)
- 1 shallot
- 1 stick butter
- about 1/2 cup flour
- about 2 cups of dairy (you can use a combination of milk and half and half or heavy cream – whatever you have/prefer)
- Cook the macaroni according to box instructions.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan.
- Turn the butter up to a simmer and whisk until brown.
- Dice shallot and brown with the butter.
- Add flour, little by little, until you get a smooth roux (see video below for texture goals).
- Whisk in the dairy until the roux is completely dissolved and bring up to a simmer.
- Add cheese one handful at a time while whisking (leave about 1/2 cup out to go on top). It is important that you keep the sauce moving so the cheese doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and mix to coat all pieces evenly.
- Top with reserved cheese and breadcrumbs then bake at 350 until the top is bubbly. You can also prepare the night before then bake just before serving!
PRO TIP 1: Put a little bowl upside down in a big bowl and grate the cheese on that. The first two times I made this, I left a huge mess of cheese on the counter because I was grating on a cutting board. Trust me – corral your cheese! Also – DO NOT BUY PRE GRATED CHEESE. Freshly grated cheese melts way better and you wanna get fancy with your cheese choice.
PRO TIP 2: Get your cheese at Trader Joe’s. They have the best prices and selection.
This is what you want your roux to look like. A nice silky texture with good color.