A Crisp and Gooey Version of the Beloved Classic.
Macaroni and cheese. It’s ubiquitous. Most of us love it in one form or another. I’ve made more versions than I can possibly remember. Sometimes I want a creamy stove top version. Then there are times where I want it baked until a cheesy crust forms on the top and sides. That’s the kind I was in the mood for when I made this one.
I decided to stay away from a béchamel. I’ve had too many experiences with a béchamel breaking when it bakes or else it turns out grainy when it sits for a little while after coming out of the oven. Instead I opted for plenty of butter, a couple eggs, some creme fraiche, half and half, cream, and seasonings. I wanted it gooey with cheese, but not necessarily saucy.
As for the types of cheese, I chose extra sharp cheddar for its bite, and gruyere for its depth of flavor. I normally don’t like additional ingredients in my mac and cheese, like peas or ham, etc., but I did add plenty of sliced scallions this time. I realized that although I love it plain, I would be serving this as a side dish and scallions would provide a welcome balance to all that cheesy richness.
After layering the pasta, cheese and scallions, I poured over the cream sauce and topped it with additional cheese and plenty of good sweet paprika. It baked for almost an hour and what you see here is the end result.
Yes, indeed. This was just what I had in mind when I started.