Exotic Mac and Cheese has been a trend for some years now. Yet I think that an excellent recipe that is close to the universal vision of the ordinary dish is something we all should have in our repertoire.
I saw a promising recipe from avante-garde food creationists Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbott on Tasting Table - an interesting website / email newsletter (but please keep reading mine, too, OK?). They offered an innovative twist to make M&C - evaporated milk. But the original recipe was a little too rich for me - so I made a few minor modifications. I hope you try it.
1 pound pasta
-- I recommend Barilla brand. Digitali (shown above) is a great shape for this dish.
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cook pasta, but stop cooking at 75% of the recommended cooking time. Drain, and rinse in cold water to stop cooking.
- While pasta cooks, add butter, evaporated milk, salt and cayenne in a large saucepan.
- When the butter has melted add the cheddar and jack cheeses a little at a time. When incorporated into sauce, add pasta and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Butter a large baking dish. Add mac and cheese mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan and breadcrumbs evenly over top.
- Turn oven to low broil and place dish on middle rack. Cook until nicely browned.