F#*% You Macaroni and Cheese
Jeremy Bruch (What Made Milwaukee Famous)
pot o’ boiling (and salted!) water
heavy-bottomed sauce pan (2 quart is ideal)
wire strainer (if you wish)
- 1-3 lobster tails (depending on size, desired level of gluttony)
- 3-4 Cups whole milk (or something heavier if you wanna go nuts, just cut back on the roux)
- 1 1/2 – 2 Cups shredded gruyere cheese (or swap out 1/2 cup of gruyere for 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda)
- 3 tbsp softened butter, creamed with 3 tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour (for roux)
- box o’ pasta (tubes or shells)
- kosher salt (at LEAST)
- olive/canola oil
- 1 tsp minced fresh garlic (for zing)
- pinch of white pepper (go easy)
- pinch of herbs du provence (ground in a mortar and pestle if you’d like it hidden)
- pinch of cracked red pepper (also ground for stealth)
- dash of truffle oil (closer. big finale)
- panko (for crunch)
- Start your pasta water, generously salted, with a blob of olive/canola oil on top. Cook pasta according to instructions.
- Cook the lobster tails to your liking (grill, steam, etc, although grilling them adds a really nice flavor) and remove the meat from the shell by snipping the tail up the middle underside with scissors, gently prying it apart. Try to break as little of the shell as possible to minimize the potential need to strain the sauce later. Set meat aside.
- Bring cream and lobster shell(s) to a simmer. The longer you can afford to leave the shell(s) in the cream before adding the butter/flour, the better. 20-30mins is ideal.
- Mash/beat/whip the butter and flour together with a silicon spatula or metal spoon into an even consistency. Remove shells and whisk the blob into the simmering milk (simply scoop the roux into the whisk and drop the whisk in the saucepan). Add any garlic, pepper, and/or herbs.
- Lightly simmer this mixture on low heat and whisk occasionally to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of your pan. Simmer about fifteen minutes (this is a good time to check your pasta of choice. I rock the big shells.) and test by dipping a spoon into the mixture and pulling it out. If it’s got a nice, even, velvety coating to it, and it doesn’t taste like flour (gritty, dry, starchy), you’re ready to add your cheese, a small handful at a time, gently whisking, until all cheese is incorporated.
- Lower heat and cook a bit longer. Continue tasting for consistency. Aside from making sure the roux (butter+ flour) cooks properly and the bechamel (roux + milk/cream) gets enough time to develop a nice silky texture, your mornay sauce (bechamel sauce + cheese) should be splendid and fuss-free.
- Salt to taste, of course. kosher, please.
- Now, toss your cooked shells and cheese sauce and coat to your liking (reserved sauce will keep in the fridge for four days or so and is great for any number of cheese sauce needs you might dream up), and top with a drizzle of truffle oil at presentation (for maximum FU points) or pile into a ramekin, sprinkle with panko bread crumbs, and pop under the broiler for a FEW seconds. Keep an eye on it. If you torch it now, you’re gonna be pissed and lose serious points. So get it to a golden crust, THEN hit it with the truffle oil. If you want. That’s what I do. And that’s what makes it F#*% You Macaroni & Cheese if you get it right. It’s powerful stuff.
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