Posts tagged Alex Young

Mac ‘n cheese from Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Zingerman's Roadhouse Mac 'n cheese

For the perfect holiday comfort food, try James Beard award-winning chef Alex Young’s recipe for homemade mac ‘n cheese. While you might not have cheddar cheese on hand from Grafton Village Cheese Company like they do at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Young serves guests this rich pasta dish, but for something special you might want to look around for a locally produced cheddar cheese.

Here’s a few more ideas to add some pizzazz to your mac ‘n cheese: add bits of crisped bacon on top before serving and/or pour the mac ‘n cheese into a casserole dish, sprinkle with another 1 cup of shredded cheese and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is browned.

Recipe

Prep + cook time: 25-35 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 lb. macaroni
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 lb. grated raw milk cheddar cheese (Zingerman’s uses two-year-old raw milk cheddar from Grafton Village)
2 tsp. olive oil
Coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and stir well. Cook for about 13 minutes (if using Martelli) or until the pasta is done. Drain it and set it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter for the sauce in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat (be careful not to scorch the butter). Add the onion and bay leaf and saute until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the flour and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
  4. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. When the flour and milk have been completely combined, stir in the cream. Keep the mixture at a gentle simmer (not at a high boil) until it thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the mustard, cheddar cheese and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
  6. In a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat, get the pan very hot. Add olive oil and, when it begins to smoke, add the cheese sauce and drained cooked noodles. Toss thoroughly and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you have approximately 15% of the mixture golden brown.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Remove from heat.
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Chef Q&A: Alex Young of Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Zingerman's Roadhouse Mac 'n cheese

Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan, isn’t your typical burger joint. Take the menu—if you look at it online, you can click through ingredients to see exactly where they come from. The chili and cheese fries might be an iconic menu item, but here you’ll find that the cheese is 2-year-old raw milk made at the Grafton Village Cheese Company in Vermont. And the beef? It’s from Dexter. With an eye towards the best, freshest ingredients possible, Alex Young, a James Beard award-winning chef, has brought all-American food to a new level at this Ann Arbor restaurant.

Here Chef Young answers a few questions about his favorite ingredients and cooking experiences. I’ll be posting his recipe for mac ‘n cheese tomorrow.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

Bread, potatoes, and onions

Your favorite meal to make or serve?

The first meal I learned to make is still my favorite, spaghetti bolognese.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a chef like you it must be something spectacular?

Milk & cookies in the middle of the night is my worst and a roasted leg of lamb for my birthday is my favorite.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

Setting light to my 18-foot barbecue pit (with the meat on it) 20 minutes before a huge barbecue dinner at the roadhouse.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

Peaches, apples, asparagus, morel mushrooms…but it’s our homegrown beef for me.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Zingerman’s Roadhouse? What menu item should they make sure to try?

Mac & cheese, the burgers, bbq ribs, fried chicken…

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