This is a rich and delicious macaroni & cheese from Bon Appétit Magazine (May 2009). You can use any combination of good melting cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmentaler, Fontina, or cheddar. It works with kale, chard, or spinach. If you omit the greens, this also makes a great traditional mac & cheese. If you want a creamier macaroni & cheese, just add a little more milk until you get the desired consistency.
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 cups reduced-fat milk (2%)
- 2 cups packed coarsely grated aged gouda cheese, plus
- 1⁄2 cup finely grated gouda cheese (about 10 ounces total)
- 2 cups packed coarsely grated edam cheese, divided
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1⁄2 lbs swiss chard or 1 1⁄2 lbs kale, stems and center ribs removed
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless sourdough bread
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed (optional)
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then flour; stir constantly 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups coarsely grated Gouda and 1 cup Edam. Stir until cheeses melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350°F Butter 13x9x2- inch baking dish. Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer chard to plate; cool. Reserve pot with water. Squeeze water from chard; chop finely.
- Return water in pot to boil. Add macaroni; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Stir macaroni into warm cheese sauce. Place half of macaroni in dish; smooth top. Top with 1 cup Edam cheese, then chard. Top with remaining macaroni mixture; spread evenly.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter. Place breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Drizzle butter over; toss. Add 1/2 cup finely grated Gouda and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over mac and cheese. Sprinkle cumin seeds over, if desired.
- Bake mac and cheese until breadcrumbs are golden and edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
This was amazing! My 7-year-olds had seconds and thirds. We had a bunch of chard in our organic produce delivery and I wanted to introduce it to my kids in a positive way. I used Gouda and Fontina cheese (since I couldn't find Edam at Trader Joe's). I did make my own bread crumbs as per the directions, and everyone commented on how it added a great crunch/texture. My only suggestion would be to put the water up (for the chard/pasta) before you get started on the cheese sauce. Also, I put the drained chard in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it down quicker. Thanks for a great recipe!
This is the best mac and cheese ever!!!