Saturday is National Mac and Cheese Day and we are getting the celebration started with the help of our friends at The Jacobson . Chef Florencio Millano shows us how to make a Smoked Macaroni Gratin skillet.
Smoked Macaroni Gratin
- 10 oz. large pasta shells, heavily salted & cooked al dente
- 4 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 c. whole milk, warmed (but not hot)
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1/2 shallot
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 oz. white cheddar, grated
- 3 oz. smoked gouda, grated
- salt & pepper to taste
- seasoned panko breadcrumbs (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat then stir in the flour to form a roux.
- Cook the roux for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the water has cooked out and it has a mild nutty smell. This also allows for the raw flour taste to cook out.
- Slowly add 2 1/2 cups of warm milk while whisking constantly, so that the liquid is incorporated into the roux without forming lumps.
- Stick the garlic cloves into the shallot and add to the sauce along with the bay leaf.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes or until reduced by approximately 20 percent.
- Remove the bay leaf and the shallot and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with a cheesecloth. Make sure you retrieve all of the garlic clove.
- Return the sauce to the pan add the gruyere, white cheddar and gouda cheeses and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter and adjust consistency with some of the remaining 1/2 cup milk, if needed.
- Toss with warm pasta and top with (optional) seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
- Place under hot broiler, until golden brown.
- Serve hot, right away. Enjoy!