The source of most of my inspiration for this blog is gone to Thailand, so for the next couple of weeks posts are going to come frequently and will feature meat and dairy, heavily. I will go ahead and venture and say that I have gone a little meat crazy in her absence, filling the void. Just last week, I cooked a four course dinner for six, showcasing five animals throughout the night, duck, lamb, cow, pig, and chicken. It was truly gluttony at it’s best, and worst. My heart just cringed a little at the thought.
Anyways, onto the food. I had a big craving for mac and cheese a few months back so I got a couple roommates to split the costs and went crazy, w/four cheeses, butter, milk, basically throwing caution into the wind and figuring that if one is good then more must be better. Yeah, America, that’s what its all about. Looking back, I probably should have focused on two cheeses, one in the bechamel and the other creating a cheesy crust. That being said, this was a pretty righteous mac and cheese.
- 1 lb dry pasta, shells or penne
- 7 tbsp butter, separated into 4, 2, 1
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/3 lb prosciutto, diced
- 1 cup swiss
- 2 cups cheddar
- 2 cups parmesan
- 1 cup gouda
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 small baguette, cut into croutons
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to directions, no more than al dente, the pasta will continue cooking later.
Add 1 tbsp butter to medium saucepan on medium heat, cook onion until soft, add 4 tbsp butter and melt, then stir in the flour until smooth. Cook until it has a light color, then whisk in the milk, bring to a simmer, then add all the cheeses, stirring frequently until smooth, cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked pasta, thyme, prosciutto, cayenne, nutmeg, season to taste with salt and pepper. Put mac and cheese in 4 separate baking dishes. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and toss croutons in bread, season with salt and pepper. Push croutons into the mac and cheese. Bake on 375 for 30 minutes.
Bake tomatoes drizzled with honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. When tomatoes are at least halfway dried they are done, about 20-30 minutes.