Monday, February 2, 2009

Ultimate Recipe Showdown

And the winner in the comfort food category is Rick Massa's...
Gourmet Mac N' Five Cheese

1 (16 oz.) package macaroni
1/4 lb. bacon
1 medium diced onion
5 T. unsalted butter
6 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 & 1/2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 spring fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. salt
1 & 1/2 c. grated fontina
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
3/4 c. grated Gruyere cheese (I saw this at Smiths)
3/4 c. grated white cheddar
3/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. bread crumbs
3 T. chopped Italian parsley

Yields 6 servings...Prep time 35 minutes/cook time 1hr. 5 minutes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and butter a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.
In a large dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the bacon until crisp (on the show he waited his bacon down with a.) Remove bacon with a slated spoon and reserve. Saute the onion in bacon drippings until soft. Add the 5 T. of butter to the onion mixture and melt the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, using a whisk and stir constantly well mixed with the fat making a roux. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add in the milk add cream stirring constantly. Add the thyme, bay leaf, salt. Let come to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 min. Strain the milk mixture into a metal bowl and discard solids. Mix in 1 c. fontina, blue cheese, 1/2 c. Gruyere, 1/2 c. white cheddar, 1/2 c. Parmesan and the reserved bacon and parsley. Continue to stir until all cheese is melted. Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture and stir to coat. Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for 15-20 min. until golden brown. Remove from oven when done and let rest for 5 min. You could serve this with slices of grilled chicken on top. ENJOY!!!

***This small stoneware from Crate and Barrel would be perfect to serve this dish to your guests!

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