I realize that it’s been awhile. I’ve missed you all. I’ve just come off probably one of the busiest weeks in all of my year at job #1. It’s really good to have a bit of my life back.
It’s winter time. For those of us who were born and raised in Los Angeles, is a great time of year. Rain and cold interspersed with 75 degree days. However, I like rainy days, simply because it’s something a little different. I sound spoiled, I know.
So with all of that said, I decided to break into my archives to find a recipe that I have wanted to make for some time. It was featured in a food magazine last year and as soon as I saw it, I had to make it. It’s a mac-n-cheese recipe of the wife of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the famous Mercer Kitchen in New York. Cream cheese is the ingredient that takes it over the top – it’s so creamy and rich.
I assure you, it’s definitely worth the calories.
Cook your macaroni until al dente or just done. Add in your cheeses (I added cream cheese into the actual mixture), cream, spices and then mix until combined.
I say mix it up – add in whatever cheese you want. Those are rules meant to be broken.
Cut cubes of cream cheese and add it onto the top of the mixture. Cook for 5 minutes until its soft. Then spread it out along the top of the mixture.
Hot out of the oven – bubbly and creamy.
Plated and ready to eat.
You need to make this today. I’m not kidding.
Marja’s Mac N Cheese
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the macaroni for 3 minutes (it will still be very chewy). Drain the macaroni and return it to the pot. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss well.
Butter a 10-by-15-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the half-and-half, milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and the macaroni. Spread the mac and cheese in the prepared baking dish and scatter the cream cheese cubes on top.
Bake the macaroni for 5 minutes. Using the back of a large spoon, spread the melted cream cheese cubes evenly over the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, until bubbling.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil the mac and cheese about 3 inches from the heat source until richly browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 and up to 20 minutes before serving.