“J” is for Jarlsberg Just in Time for National Cheese Day

Keep calm & get your mac & cheese on…

I had planned to make a really good Mac’n cheese for dinner one night and tried Ina Garten’s recipe that is made with a Béchamel sauce not so unlike many other recipes and decided that it was just okay, but if you want her recipe, find a link to it below…now whether it is fit for our “J” theme at the cooking club, I’m not sure since I started with another Chef’s recipe and completely departed from, but still in all it will remain my favorite so far.

I guess that I was just wanting something basic that is luscious fit for company and exploring the possibilities is almost endless and while I have no real “family” recipe what I found will forever be my “family” recipe as well as a fantatically easy, luscious version, why Poole’s Diner in Raleigh caught my eye and I just didn’t want to put the bowl down…

The few ingredients list is a good sign that it is going to be cheesy perfect with three kinds of cheese including Jarlesberg, sharp white cheddar, and a nice Grana Padano all shredded/grated and tossed together, divided into a 40% portion to blend into the sauce and unbelievably the remaining 60% to top the mac’n cheese before placing under the broiler to melt into OMG cheesiness.

Pretty easy to remember is a big factor so I can make it on a whim and the fact that has no bread crumbs makes me immediately love it.

Fridge and pantry items:
2 cups of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of sea salt
6 ounces elbow macaroni
2 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, shredded/grated
2 ounces Grana Padano, shredded/grated
6 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded/grated

With clean hands toss all of the cheeses and divide, 40% to blend into the sauce and macaroni and the remaining 60% to cover the dish before doing a quick melting under the broiler.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and season with 1 teaspoon salt, the chef suggests cooking the macaroni for only 5 minutes just under al dente, drain and toss in about 1 teaspoon oil before spreading over a sheet pan, set aside until ready to toss into the hot heavy cream.  Heat the cream for about 2 minutes with 1 teaspoon salt, it will bubble up considerably before subsiding at which point you add the pasta.  Add the cheese into the macaroni and cream a decent handful at a time, stirring and melting each addition into the sauce before adding the next handful until all of the 40% is added.

I very lightly oiled the baking dish/pan before adding the pasta…heat the broiler and cover the pasta with the remaining 60% place the baking dish on a sheet pan, and broil (watching closely), until the cheese is melted and golden brown.  Allow it to rest briefly for several minutes before serving.

Keep in mind that you can taste and season when all of the cheese is melted into the macaroni, but don’t over salt.  I personally like to add dashes of hot sauce to my plated mac’n cheese…sit aback and enjoy this fine comfort food.