Prep 0 mins
Cook 20 mins
Serious macaroni and cheese for serious macheads. This easy, non-baked recipe comes from Quick and Simple magazine April 2006. Top quality Gruyere or Emmenthal can be substituted for the appenzeller. Wikipedia states: "Appenzeller cheese is a hard cow's-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland. An herbal brine, sometimes incorporating wine or cider, is applied to the wheels of cheese while they cure, which flavours and preserves the cheese while promoting the formation of a rind. Appenzeller has a documented history of at least 700 years. Today, about 75 dairies produce it, each with a different recipe for their brine wash. Most of the recipes are trade secrets. The cheese is straw-colored, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell and a nutty or fruity flavour, which can range from mild to tangy, depending on how long it is aged".
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
- 10 -12 ounces Appenzeller cheese
- 4 ounces creme fraiche
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- Cook the elbow macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside. *Important*: Reserve 1 cup of the pasta liquid.
- Return the hot, cooked pasta to the pot. Toss with the garlic, shallot, shredded cheese, creme fraiche, nutmeg, salt, pepper and butter. Heat should be on low but no higher to avoid burning the cheese.
- Ladle in approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, tossing ingredients gently.
- If the cheese does not melt right away, increase heat to medium for a few moments. The cooking liquid will help create a light, saucy coating of cheese for the pasta. Most importantly, be extra careful not to burn the ingredients!
- If the pasta seems dry, ladle in a bit more liquid, only 1/4 cup at a time, until the macaroni is creamy but not watery.
- Transfer to pasta platter and serve hot.
- Garnish with fresh minced parsley if desired.