Baked Singing Brook Cheese and Macaroni
Blackberry Farm's Chef Josh Feathers puts cheese in the forefront of this macaroni dish for an indulgently rich take on a much-loved Southern classic.
- 1 Vidalia onion, finely diced
- 4 ounces clarified unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ gallon whole milk
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 2 pounds grated Singing Brook cheese, or substitute Pecorino Romano or Tomme
- 3 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 pounds cooked macaroni pasta, drained
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter (not clarified)
- Heat the oven to 300°F. In a stockpot, sauté the onion in the clarified butter over medium heat. Add the solid, unsalted butter and melt. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cream, and gradually bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture has started to thicken, add the grated cheese, dry mustard, and nutmeg, whisking to melt the cheese into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and mix to combine. Spoon the mixture into a greased 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
- Mix the bread crumbs, herbs, and melted butter in a medium bowl to make a topping. Sprinkle an even coating on top of the macaroni, and bake until golden brown and bubbly around the edges, approximately 30 minutes, checking after 20.
- Purchase premade fresh bread crumbs from your local bakery, grocer, or specialty foods shop.
- Cook the macaroni and grate the cheese up to a day ahead.
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