Reading cookbooks is a relaxing afternoon for me. I am always intrigued and inspired by the combination of ingredients and applied techniques. When I was asked to review the new cookbook “Melt” from Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord – how could I refuse? Two bloggers that I admire AND a whole book about pasta and cheese – sign me up!
I showed the recipes to my kiddo and in true teenager fashion, he went for the safe (but no less delicious option) – Gruyere and Emmentaler Macaroni with Black Forest Ham and Cubed Sourdough Bread. As Emeril is wont to say: BAM!
I knew with the Gruyere and Emmentaler that this was not going to be my Nanny’s mac and cheese and I was not disappointed. A new ingredient that really added oomph was the Dijon mustard – brilliant!
The recipe was perfection – I had to no urge to change anything and the results were … well … gone within hours. Including the midnight thief who shall remain nameless. I can unequivocally say it was a HIT and this will become a go-to cookbook for me in the future.
The production and content quality of Melt is excellent – lots of pictures, easy instruction, and cool little tidbits about the ingredients and wine pairings. Well Done, Stephanie and Garrett!
Before diving into this casserole of cheese, ham, cheese, and macaroni, ENTER THE GIVEAWAY – The MELT and LE CREUSET GIVEWAY (I am almost swooning!).
Melt will be a great holiday gift and hostess gift and a source of all kinds of amazing twists and turns for mac and cheese: my next foray is Lincolnshire Poacher with Cotija, Chorizo and Penne. I think. It could also be Kokos and Banana Fried Wontons with Caramel Sauce. Or both.
Onto the Gruyere and Emmentaler ….
- 10 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 10 ounces Gruyere, shredded
- 8 ounces Emmentaler, shredded
- 8 ounces of Black Forest ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 cups sourdough bread cubes, each about 1/2 inch square crust on
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter an 8×8 inch baking dish.
2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through a colander and set aside.
3. To prepare the mornay sauce, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over the medium flame. Add the flour and stir with a flat-edge wooden paddle just until the roux begins to take on a light brown color, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon – a finger drawn along the back of the spoon should leave a clear swath. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Add mustard and cheese to sauce stirring until completely melted.
4. Pour pasta into greased baking dish and toss with ham. Pout the cheese sauce over the top of the pasta and stir gently to incorporate into the ham and the noodles, Top liberally with bread cubes, slide into the over and bake for 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
I am so thrilled for Stephanie and Garrett and for my tummy. Put it on the list!
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