Mac and Cheese night at our house is no longer an us versus them affair. With this recipe, kids and adults agree that this is one of their favorite macaroni and cheese meals. We go light on the leeks on half of the pan, for the kids, and then double up on the adult side.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch leek greens (from 1 1/2 pounds of leeks), thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups half-and-half or whole milk
- 10 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and cook over high heat, stirring just until slightly wilted, 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until very tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and cook over moderately high heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half and bring to a boil, whisking until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add 2 cups of the cheese, season with salt and pepper and whisk the cheese sauce until melted.
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until nearly al dente. Drain well. Add the macaroni and the cheese sauce to the leek greens and stir until combined.
Transfer the macaroni to an 8-by-11-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes, until bubbling. Turn the broiler on and broil the mac and cheese until golden brown on top, about 3 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Source: Food & Wine