by Eliza Sullivan
Photography courtesy of bostonchefs.com
As winter seems determined to continue in Boston and finals start to approach, comfort foods seem more and more appealing. Chef Andy Husbands, owner of The Smoke Shop restaurants in Boston and Cambridge, shared this recipe for homemade mac and cheese, which is just easy enough to make you wonder why you ever bothered with Kraft in the first place. The recipe serves 6-8, meaning you can either invite some friends over for a cram session before those final exams, or you can break out the tupperware to prep lunch and dinner for the week.
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups yellow Cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. When the pasta is done, strain well, place back in pan, and mix with 1 tablespoon of butter.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the cheese sauce. In a bowl, combine the milk and water.
In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 g) of butter. Add the flour and stir with a fork continually until the mixture (roux) is well combined and has a nutty aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. The roux should not brown.
Slowly add the milk mixture to the roux, whisking until fully incorporated, Add the nutmeg, white pepper, and kosher salt. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently as it heats.
Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, until it is a little thicker than maple syrup and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Fold in the cheeses and stir well. Add the macaroni and taste for seasoning, adding kosher salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.