Tonight’s recipe is brought to you by the following sponsors:

  1. leftover cheese from the party
  2. Alton Brown as my muse
  3. A terrible day at work

I have this cheese in the fridge left over from the party


and I had already grated all of this off of it before snapping the picture of the drawer above

So what else could I do but make an overly cheesy macaroni dish? This recipe is based on Alton Brown’s macaroni and cheese gift from the gods, with my additions below. I have made it in its original form before and it was magic in your mouth. Making things like this on a semi regular basis are what led me to gaining weight and needing to hit the gym hard core. Speaking of which, I am making fattening food and not at the gym right now because the sky is on and off opening up. That does not make for a potentially relaxing yoga experience. The bad day at work will just be chalked up to a terrible experience that we’ll forget about with each bite of cheesy goodness.

Let’s get on with this macaroni show, shall we? (Isn’t my recipe holding method great? When I re-do the kitchen I am going to integrate some sort of recipe holding device).


Lots Of Cheese & Some Elbow Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 16-24 oz* assorted cheese (I used gouda, jarlsberg, and a bit of smoked mozzarella) Cheddar is always a winner. Smoked cheddar would be glorious.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for a minute. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg (add a spoonful of the warm milk-onion combination to an egg that’s already been scrambled in a smaller dish. Keep the egg moving to keep it from cooking. Pour the egg into the larger pan of milk-onion liquid and keep it moving!). Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

*The original recipe calls for 12 oz of cheese. We are on a sad day get fat binge, use however much cheese you want.

Because I used mostly milder cheeses, the flavor isn’t as overwhelmingly sharply cheesy as most people are used to in a mac and cheese dish. I will say that the smoked mozzarella kept this dish interesting, and had I eaten this as a complement to a round dinner, it would have been a great side to a spicier or bolder flavored dish. However, I am a sad sack tonight and am just eating this mac and cheese for dinner and having Talenti gelato for dessert.