So it’s been awhile since I posted a recipe, but that’s because I’ve been busy traveling, eating and running a marathon. And the week after the marathon I was so sore I had a tough time doing anything – including going to the grocery store. But I’m back!
I’ve decided not to do a full, detailed trip report because it can get pretty boring for those of you have no interest in LA/NYC restaurants, but I’ll list out my favorites for you.
Capo (an Italian staple in Santa Monica. Truffles, anyone??)
Father’s Office (burgers in Santa Monica. but no ketchup. Why don’t people believe in ketchup??)
The Bazaar (Jose Andres new restaurant in the SLS hotel. It’s truly a dining adventure. So fun.)
Babbo (best post-marathon meal EVER. I even high-fived Mario Batali on my way out the door)
Sip Sak (Turkish food in Turtle Bay)
Trattoria Trecolori (Surprisingly good Italian in the theatre district. It’s no Babbo, but delicious in it’s own right.)
While I was in NYC, my mom and I went to the filming of my favorite daytime TV show – The Martha Stewart show (obviously). Such a good time, and Martha has the most fabulous set. It’s so much nicer than my home. But I expect nothing less from Martha.
Anyway, during the show Martha made mac & cheese with Yankees outfielder, Curtis Granderson. I honestly didn’t know who he was beforehand, and really could have cared less about any Yankees player, but he was completely adorable. I now love him. Seriously.
But back to the mac & cheese. I love mac & cheese, but I feel like I’m constantly disappointed when I make it or order it. I like it super creamy, and I’m not crazy about bread crumbs on the top. In Dallas, I love the mac & cheese from Toulouse and The Porch, but I’ve yet to find the perfect at-home recipe. Until now.
This recipe is slightly salty, super creamy, and beyond irresistible. And, the leftovers are just as good, if not better. I love that it’s made on the stove, so you can skip the whole 30 minutes in the oven ordeal – which always ends up drying out my mac & cheese anyway.
Chef Pierre’s (Martha Stewart’s former chef) Mac & Cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, heated
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated Comte cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup cut into 1/4-inch cubes (I used regular cheddar, and it turned out fine. better than fine.)
Salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shells or elbow macaroni
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk; bring to a simmer and continue whisking until sauce has thickened, about 10 minute. Whisk in heavy cream and return to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack, Gruyere, Comte, and 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheeses. Whisk cheese into simmering milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition melt before adding the next. Add 2 teaspoons salt and pepper; stir to combine.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; generously season with salt and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add about 3/4 of the cheese sauce to bowl with pasta and fold to combine. Fold in 1/2 cup chopped cheddar cheese and remaining sauce as necessary.