Long before I was sharing recipes on the web, I shared Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast recipes with guests and family the old fashioned way: print and hand out! If you happened to be in our kitchen when we were making something we probably even let you get your eyes and hands on some of the more technical details.
Anyway, almost every day someone says to me: “You ought to publish a cookbook!” Here’s the truth: I won’t. But if I DID…..if I did it would be a Mac and Cheese cookbook. My friends and family know that I have 100s and more 100s of M&C recipes and I still remain unsatisfied, always looking for another, the next, the better, the different. I love them all, but I do have a few true favorites. One is made with Brie that is creamy and light and very oooh la la diaphanous, another has spinach and garlic with a whole grain penne, very earthy, and there is this Wild Mushroom M&C.
Mushrooms are for those who love the earth, the very smell, taste and eating of EARTH, dirt even. If you are a mushroom lover like me, here’s your M&C recipe!!
Use whatever mushroom you please, they have very different tastes from chanterelles to porcinis, so you choose. I like to mix them, usually, from dried assortments. but if one particular mushroom is in season, live, fresh and in bulk, I’ll make a singular type and experience/learn the taste differences.
Mac and cheese is simple, yet sophisticated. Don’t set your temps too high and seize the bechamel, that’s my first advice and surely will be on the first page of the book I never publish, hahah!!!
1 ounce dried mixed wild mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
2 medium leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2⁄3; cu pdry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups macaroni(uncooked)
3 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon Worchestire Sauce
½ teaspoon dry mustard
5 cups sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, divided
To make the Mushrooms: Soak dried mushrooms in boiling-hot water, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash leeks.
Strain mushrooms through a paper towel lined sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid. Squeeze liquid from mushrooms into sieve, then rinse mushrooms well to remove any grit and chop.
Cook leeks in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Increase heat to high, then add all the mushrooms, reserved soaking liquid, and wine and boil, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes.
Strain through a clean sieve into a liquid measuring cup, pressing hard on and reserving mushrooms.
Return liquid to skillet and boil it until it is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Add cream and boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and boil, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to a 3-quart shallow baking dish.
To make the macaroni: Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle.
Cook macaroni in pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat milk in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until hot. Melt butter in a heavy medium pot over medium-low heat, then whisk in flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes.Whisk in hot milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes, then whisk in 3 cups cheese until melted.Remove from heat and stir in macaroni and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Spread over mushrooms. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.