Monday, November 4, 2013

Mac and Cheese Cups

This recipe is from the book Bread & Wine.  I've posted the recipe as it is in the book, but here are the few changes that I made;

-used whole wheat pasta
-after trying to melt the cheese, whisking till smooth and failing with a gloppy mess, I just tossed the melted butter and shredded cheese with the pasta and this worked well, and even skipped a whole step
-I made mini macs for appetizers as the book directs, but I also made some in muffin tins as a side dish for dinner... those I baked at 350 for 25 minutes

Everyone really liked these.  Most mac and cheese recipes that I've followed over the years call for ground mustard in them, which is a nice touch.  But, I will never do that again.  The dijon in this recipe added a new depth and complexity to mac and cheese that I will incorporate into every future mac and cheese I make.

Mini Mac & Cheese
Ingredients to Serve 8
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (or 4 cups cooked)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
1 tablespoon dijon
2 dashes Tabasco
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Smoked paprika
In a pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni to just al dente, which is just a touch firmer than how you’d like to eat it. About 5 minutes. Drain.
On medium-low heat, warm butter and cheddar cheese, whisk till smooth.
Add Dijon, Tabasco, egg yolk, whisk again.
Add macaroni and mix until well coated with cheese.
Brush mini muffin pan with melted butter, then sprinkle grated parmesan into each cup.
Spoon into muffin pans, making them slightly rounded and packing them gently. Top with grated Parmesan.
Bake at 425 for 12 to 14 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top. After removing from oven, sprinkle with smoked paprika.
Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving, because they will set as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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