I apologize in advance for the photos, which don’t do justice to the deliciousness of this M & C.
Thankfully, the winter solstice is coming, and then we’ll start to see more daylight after 4pm.
So this mac & cheese. It came from a book I’ve had by my bedside for months, that I finally picked up the other night and read a story out of. It’s a compilation of the best food writing of 2006 (probably the year I put it beside my bed), and the story I read on this particular night was written by Julia Moskin for the New York Times. (I have to say – I like her photo better. More cheese?)
The difference between this particular recipe and the bazillion of other macaroni and cheeses out there: you blend up the cheese and milk and then bake it with raw macaroni, rather than boil the noodles and mix up a white sauce with loads of grated cheese in it, which is apparently not so much true mac & cheese as it is macaroni with cheese sauce. Makes sense, no?
The process was easy: blend, mix, bake.
I had my first doubts when I pulled it out of the oven to uncover it, and it was foamy. No lie.
After the second stir, it didn’t look promising. It was oddly lumpy, and the macaroni noodles, which were still dense and leathery after an hour, had sunk to the bottom and were working on fusing themselves to the casserole dish.
But I persevered in the interest of all that cheese, and it managed to work itself out in the end. After a few dabs of butter and a couple extra stirs, it came together like a cheesy Christmas miracle.
Next time, I’ll open the oven and give it a stir more often. We ate it topped with a scoop of chili – a fab winter combination, if you haven’t tried it.
An extra handful on top to reinforce that cheesy crust is a good idea. Being as it’s Christmas and all, I might even crumble in one of those Imperial packs of extra-sharp cheddar next time, or try a pound of Grizzly Gouda. So worth the cheese spend.