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!