Morel Mushroom Mac ‘n Cheese

So the boyfriend and I got thoroughly spoiled. We were gifted a gorgeous Emile Henry ceramic stew pot, and what to do with it other than welcome it to our home with Macaroni and Cheese?

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It can go on the stovetop and in the oven, and I’m using it for everything!  As you can see, I’ve used it to make the sauce on the stovetop in this recipe, and then popped it right into the oven full of mac ‘n cheese… if you don’t have such a pot, do not fear!  You can simply make the sauce in a pot on the stove, and transfer it all to an oven-safe baking dish, like a casserole dish or a pyrex dish.

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And of course, it’s morel season around here — so there had to be morel mushrooms in my macaroni and cheese.  Use whatever gorgeous mushrooms you have available, anything will work well here.  But it is a darn good excuse for morels!

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We had this with some sauteed collard greens.  Because the dish is so (gorgeously) rich, you might want to do the same thing just to get a couple more veggies into your day.

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And the best part of macaroni and cheese?  The toasty breadcrumbs on top:

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We hope you like it as much as we did.  And if it gives you an excuse to go buy a stove- and oven-safe pot, well I’m glad I could be an enabler.

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Morel Mac ‘n Cheese
Inspired by Martha’s Macaroni & Cheese at Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta (e.g. fusili, macaroni, penne — I used Garofalo‘s Casarecce)
  • 1 c. whole wheat bread crumbs

Lovely Mushrooms

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 100g (about 2 c.) morel mushrooms, sliced
  • 228g (about 2 c.) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

Gruyère-Cheddar Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. grainy dijon mustard
  • 2 c. old cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 c. gruyère cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (still a bit ‘bitey’).

Prepare your Lovely Mushrooms by heating butter and oil in a large pan.  Add the mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary, and saute about 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened and cooked through.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Now create the Gruyère-Cheddar Sauce: In an oven-safe pot, melt the butter and slowly stir in the flour over medium heat.  Cook for about five minutes to make a roux, until the mixture becomes golden brown, and starts to smell nutty.

Add the milk, a little at a time, and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.  Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Add the cayenne, salt, and mustard, and cheeses.  Using a spatula, stir until the cheese has melted into a thick sauce.

Add the pasta and mushrooms to the sauce, and stir everything well to combine.  Top with the breadcrumbs, and bake uncovered at 375F for 30 minutes, or until the top has browned.

Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.

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Categories: Main Course, Vegetarian

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