submitted by Dameon Clarke
I figure, if you’re stuck at home and not sticking to those YouTube work outs like you’d hoped to, why not eat a super decadent, comfort dish like the following.
Here’s the magical story of how I came across this unicorn.
I was summering with the Ramseys (you know, Gordon Ramsey et al) at their estate in the Hamptons. On the second evening, of what would become a magical weekend, we were all standing in the kitchen as Gordon (Ramsey that is. From Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef etc.) prepped dinner for the eight of us. ( I don’t want to name drop, so I’ll leave the other guests names to the imagination.)
Bobby Flay was right in the middle of one of Bobby’s classic stories, when Gordon Ramsey said “Hey Dameon, do you want to know how to make the best G-Damn f*cking Mac and Cheese in the f*cking world”? And well, the rest is history.
Unfortunately, I’ve never actually met any of those people. I just don’t have an impressive or super cool story to back up this recipe. I’ve just been messing around with this over the years, and here’s where I’ve landed…for the moment.
The Best Mac ‘N Cheese in the Whole Wide World
Here’s what you’ll need to order on Amazon and wait six weeks to get:
16 oz. some kind of pasta that’s not long and spaghetti like (Tubular, macaroni etc.)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups some kind of potato chip, croutons or Panko crumbs
4 tbsp butter melted
½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
¼ tsp paprika or cumin
As long as you have a few different types of cheeses to put together that’s good. Just make sure you have the cheddar. Also… it’s a lot better if it’s block cheese. They put some kind of coating on shredded cheese to keep it from clumping apparently.
Also, two cups milk and two cups half and half works if you don’t have heavy cream. For some reason that seems to be a favorite for hoarders, next to guns and toilet paper.
Here we go -
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a large 3 qt or 4 qt baking dish and set aside.
Now let’s cook your pasta and shred your cheese.
Cook the pasta to one minute short of al dente. (It’ll cook more in the oven). While that’s cooking, shred and combine your cheese in a bowl. (There’s six cups total here so wear some sort of athleisure wear).
Coat pasta in olive oil. Set pasta and cheese aside. (Put pasta in same pot. We’re not done with that yet).
Now that that’s done… let’s do the roux.
Melt butter (6 tbsp) in a medium sized pot over low to medium heat. Gradually mix in flour with a whisk or fork to prevent clumping. When that gets to a nice caramel colour, jack the heat up a bit to medium and start whisking in your COLD milk and cream in small increments. (This cold and gradual method prevents clumping).
Whisk constantly to prevent scorching. Once you start getting bubbles, you want to go about another two minutes (about to when you start noticing it getting thicker).
Now… add salt and pepper and gradually add two cups of cheese. Whisk until smooth. Add another two cups of cheese and do the same. Once blended, the sauce should be nice and thick. (You still have two cups of cheese left).
Dump that sauce into the pasta. Mix it real good.
Put half of that Mac ‘N Cheese into the greased baking dish. Get it flat and top with remaining two cups of cheese. Top that with remaining Mac ‘N Cheese.
Now, melt the 4 tbsp of butter, add either crushed chips, croutons or Panko and paprika or cumin (not both). Mix it up and layer that on top of Mac ‘N Cheese.
Into the oven this heart attack goes. Spark up your oven light and cook for about 30 mins or until golden brown.
Once done, I like to let this cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. This just firms it up a tad. You can eat it right away though. It’s okay. Go ahead.
Set aside seven hours of cardio the next day. Trust me though, it’s worth it. This the best Mac N’ Cheese I’ve ever had.
So that’s it! Enjoy! Stay strong!