My son and I pulled out all the stops, all the old tricks, to make this super tasty old fashioned mac and cheese.
Ingredients (6 – 8 Servings)
1 lb elbow macaroni. If it has ridges, so much the better!
8 oz mascarpone
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese 1 1/2 cups, grated
4 oz gruyere (1 cup) grated
4 oz fontina (1 cup) grated
1/2 cup parmesan grated
4 strips bacon
4 cups half-and-half
8 oz shallots about 2 cups, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup white wine
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
dash of hot sauce
1 green jalapeno (Chopped, de-veined, de-seeded)
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh parsley minced
1 tsp fresh chives minced
1/2 teaspoon Emeril’s Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
Cheese Alternative (French Style)
11 oz Brie or camembert
11 oz Chevre
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Preparation (Prep Time: 45 mins; Cook Time: 20 min)
- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees.
- Precook the pasta. You want it to be about 1 minute short of al dente, as it will cook further in the casserole.
- Butter a large baking dish.
- Cook the bacon over medium heat in a dutch oven until golden brown. About 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to plate and leave drippings in the dutch oven.
- In a heavy medium saucepan (not the bacon’s dutch oven!), melt 4 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half, a little at a time.
- Cook until it thickens, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Season with the salt, dash of hot sauce, smoked paprika, and dry mustard. Stir until all is combined and the sauce is smooth then cover and set aside. This is the roux that will form the basis of the sauce.
- Add the minced shallots to the dutch oven and saute to a golden brown. Should take about 3 mins. Add the garlic and chopped jalapeno and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the anchovy paste and stir well.
- Stir in the white wine to deglaze and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until it has reduced by half. Should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the roux, stir to combine.
- Add the cheese. Bring back to simmer and melt all the cheese. Puree in a blender or use an immersion blender until smooth.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and reserved bacon and pour it into the baking dish.
- Topping: Stir ingredients to combine and sprinkle over the mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are brown and the ingredients are bubbling.