Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Souffle Mac 'n Cheese

In my world, there are two basic types of macaroni & cheese.  Three if you count the blue box.

In my world, the blue box doesn't count.

So you have the traditional mac 'n cheese that starts with a roux (butter and flour), thinned with milk to make it into a bechamel sauce, and finished with shredded cheese, which makes it a mornay sauce.  Did you know I was French?  Anyway, I'll show you my favorite mac 'n cheese with white sauce some time.

But today we're having souffle-style mac 'n cheese.  It has eggs, which is why I call it souffle-style.  It's a whole different animal.  It's wonderful in its own way.

We'll start by boiling water.  Add two heaping cups of elbow macaroni and a heaping tablespoon of kosher salt to the water.

It will need to cook for 12 minutes.  This is not the place for al dente pasta.  In my world, there is never an occasion for al dente pasta. 
While the pasta cooks, shred some cheese.  Since you have nothing else to do right now because your children are both napping at the same time for the first time in a long time, shred your own. 

Now let's make the mixture that will turn this mac 'n cheese into a souffle.

Crack three eggs into a bowl.  Add half cup of sour cream and a half teaspoon of salt.  Add 1 1/2 cups of milk.  Beat it all together with a whisk.

When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander.  Return it to the pot (off the heat) and stir in the cheese and butter.

When the cheese gets melty and stringy and combined with the pasta and the butter is melted, dump the pasta mixture into the egg/milk mixture.  Stir it well. 

Grease a casserole dish and pour it in.  Make sure your casserole dish is big enough.  An 11x7 or a 2.5 qt dish should work. 

This is what I should have used.

Instead, because I have issues, I used a smaller dish.

It was too small.

I used it anyway.

Then I had to place it on a baking sheet in my oven so I did not have to clean up mac 'n cheese from the bottom of my oven.

But you better believe I had the deepest dish of mac 'n cheese in the world.

It was divine. 

Make this soon.  It's really yummy.

Souffle Mac 'n Cheese
Inspired by Paula Deen

2 heaping cups of uncooked elbow macaroni
Kosher salt
1/2 stick butter (4 T)
3 cups shredded cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling water.  Salt the water liberally.  Cook pasta for 12 minutes.  Drain it and return it to the pot.  Add the butter and cheese and stir it well.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and sour cream.

When the cheese has melted with the pasta and butter, pour the pasta mixture into the egg/milk mixture.  Stir well. 

Pour into a greased casserole dish.  Bake on 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the middle is no longer milky when you poke it with a knife.

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