RECIPE: Zingerman’s Macaroni and Cheese
With the cold weather rapidly approaching, it’s time for comfort food. Personally, I love macaroni and cheese, and I’m always on the constant search for an awesome recipe to try.
This recipe comes from the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating. Zingerman’s, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the epicenter of all things Gourmet, combined with unparalleled customer service. Everything they serve up at their restaurants, and their mail order, is simply amazing.
Coarse sea salt
1 pound macaroni, preferably Martelli
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised with the side of a knife
1 sprig fresh thyme (about 4 inches)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4 inches)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 ounces farmhouse white American Cheddar cheese, grated (4 1/2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes (if using Martelli), or until the pasta is 2 to 3 minutes from being al dente. You’ll want it underdone so that it doesn’t get mushy in the oven. Drain it and set it aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary and saute until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce the mixture until it thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the garlic, thyme, and rosemary from the pot. Add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook for a minute or so more while you continue to stir.
Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. When the flour and milk have been completely combined, stir in the mustard and some salt and pepper. Keep the mixture at a gentle simmer (not at a high boil) until it thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Working a handful at a time, stir in 3 cups of the cheese. When the cheese has melted into the sauce, remove the pan from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a 9x13-inch baking dish and top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups grated cheese.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden. Serve hot.
Next, I’ll share a recipe for Macaroni & Cheese from the Steven Jenkins Cheese Primer.