Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Party Pleaser: Three Cheese Mini Mac

Gary filling up mini muffin tins with cheesy goodness
Last night, Gary and I went to a friend's Christmas party, and everyone had to bring an appetizer. Gary decided to try a new recipe from Food and Wine Magazine: Three-Cheese Mini Mac. They were fairly easy to make (with the exception of Gary having to go to Princeton at the last minute for mini-muffin tins), and were a real hit. I was amazed at how the mac and cheese kept their muffin-like shape, and just slipped right out when the tins were turned upside down. Below is the recipe for anyone who wants to make a nostalgic dish for a grown-up party - this is definitely not your kid's Kraft Macaroni and Cheese!

Food & Wine Magazine
Ingredients for Three-Cheese Mini Mac   
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)  
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped 
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika    

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until aldente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.  
  2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
  4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
  5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight  
My girlfriend and I hamming it up before enjoying the fruits of Gary's labor... delicious!

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