Shiitake Mac & Cheese

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Yield: serves 6  to 8

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Ingredients

  • Ingredients for Mornay Sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion or shallot finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1-1/2 lb. grated fontina and sharp cheddar cheese mixed
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Other Ingredients
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 lb. shell pasta cooked
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 cold Braeburn apple thinly sliced and fanned

Directions

  1. Sweat onions in butter. Blend spices with flour. Add spices, garlic and flour; whisk until incorporated. Do not brown the flour.
  2. Slowly whisk in milk and let cook for at least 20 minutes. Next, slowly add cheese by the handful, constantly whisking. After all the cheese is incorporated, adjust seasoning.
  3. Brown 1/4 cup butter, and sauté shiitakes with any herbs of your choice (I recommend rosemary). Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of milk or cream and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add Mornay to the pan to warm up. Toss with cooked shells and place in ramekins.
  4. The consistency should be goopy looking, not dry or clumpy. If you see distinct pasta pieces and it’s not oozing, it lacks love!
  5. Top with a dusting of bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbling and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh sliced apple fam and smoked paprika.
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