Continuous improvement (one of our guiding principles at Michigan Athletics) is a principle I apply quite seriously to my cooking and dinner party hosting. So as my Ann Arbor weekly Suppah Club (self-proclaimed) begins to evolve, we continue to appropriately perfect our dishes in a constant continuum of improvement.
June is the perfect month to bust out the grill and go totally American on everyone, and thus Danny – the official Grillmaster of the Suppah Club made his standard cheeseburgers to be served with bacon, tomatoes, in between Zingermann’s challah buns (that I now know how to correctly pronounce), and of course I contributed my go-to baked macaroni and cheese that continues to improve each time I make it. This is no ordinary mac and cheese due to the three cheese varieties (fontina, mozzarella, and parmesan) along with an excessive amount of cream and whole milk.
It’s actually a recipe I stole from Giada De Laurentiis, and I usually question a skinny chef’s take on a dish like mac n’ cheese, but in this case she nailed it.
Macaroni and Cheese
From the Food Network
Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) grated Fontina
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella
4 ounces cooked ham, diced, optional
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.
Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat.
Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture.
Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes.
Not only did we have cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese, but also started the night with a pimento cheese dip and finished the meal with homemade ice cream sandwiches (I made a ricotta cheese vanilla ice cream concoction for the filling).
When all is said and done we had a total of 6 cheese varieties (colby jack, pimento cheese, ricotta, mozarella, fontina, and parmesan)! This is a meal, my cousin Morgan, would live for and certainly not one recommended for anyone with a dairy sensitive stomach.
PS – The mac and cheese freezes really well and can be made in advance. We ended up having it last night after a long day of tubing on the Huron River…you can never go wrong with a solid macaroni and cheese to refuel the body after a lot of beer and sun.