RECIPE 39: Grant's Mac and Cheese
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Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Grant’s Mac and Cheese
You would expect Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits.
Recipe By: Food & Wine magazine, December 2006, page 208
Serving Size: 8
Categories: Food & Wine Magazine, Side Dish
-= Ingredients =-
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 each thick slices of bacon ; (6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion ; minced
2 each bay leaves
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese ; shredded (5 cups)
-= Instructions =-
Preheat the oven to 350Â°. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.
Add the onion and bay leaves to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until blended. Gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce gently for 30 minutes, whisking frequently. Discard the bay leaves.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil until pliable but undercooked, about 4 minutes. Drain the macaroni and return it to the pot.
Stir 4 cups of the cheddar into the hot sauce, add the bacon and season with salt.Add the sauce to the macaroni and mix well. Spread the mac and cheese in the prepared baking dish and scatter the remaining 1 cup of cheddar on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The assembled mac and cheese can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
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