Well it's the summer time and there is always something good to cook for an old fashioned BBQ. A while back I had placed a recipe on gourmet macaroni and cheese. This go around, I wanted to show how you can make macaroni and cheese a different way. Remember, I am making a double batch as I am making this for our home as well as the BBQ we attended.
4 cups of elbow macaroni
water for boiling
1 pkg pancetta
1 pkg proscuitto
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 oz fontina
4 oz jarlesburg
4 oz white sharp cheddar
4 oz smoked gouda
4 oz colby jack
1/2 green onions
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
Start by cooking the pancetta and proscuitto. Use a teaspoon of olive oil as the
ingredients have enough fat to help in the cooking process. Cook until
nice and somewhat crispy. Drain from the fat and place off to the side.
Shred all the cheeses that you plan to use. I am using these types of
cheeses as I like to have a little sharpness, but also some velvety
creaminess to my mac and cheese. Remember, you can use different types
of cheeses and it all depends on what is available. I have been known to
even use Velveeta, but adding other high end cheeses. Just keep in mind
that you don't add too much salt because Velveeta has too much sodium.
In a separate pan, add one diced onion to the pan drippings of the proscuitto/pancetta. Cook until somewhat translucent and caramelized. Take off the heat once cooked and placed off to the side.
Prepare a large pot with water for boiling. Salt the water liberally.
Some bloggers or recipes say that you should not salt before, but
after. I personally like to salt before and allow to boil. It helps in
the boiling process.
In a medium sized sauce pan, place the butter and heavy cream on medium heat. Add the shredded cheeses to the heavy cream. Mix in the nutmeg and ground pepper. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and the cheeses are melted. Place on very low heat stirring on occasion.
When the water has come to a boil, add the macaroni remembering to stir on occasion. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until the macaroni is al dente. Drain the pasta.
In a baking dish, lightly butter the interior. Place the pasta into a baking dish. Mix in the cheese mixture and the pancetta/proscuitto into the pasta as well as the caramelized onions. Now I am going to allow this to cool down and place into the refrigerator. Like most things, the spices will meld together and just taste loads better.
On the next day, take the mac and cheese out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees place the mac and cheese into the oven. Allow to heat through. Take it out and sprinkle some panko crumbs atop the mac and cheese.