Saturday, February 2, 2008

Blue Pear Mac & Cheese

Here is the recipe for the blue gooo... You don't know what you are missing Emiril!

Chef Improv Original Blue Pear Mac and Cheese

8 ounces of dried Pasta, Penne Rigato (riged)
8 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese
4 ounces of soft goat cheese
4 ounces of a creamy blue veined cheese such as English Stilton, or gorgonzola, crumbled
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese - generous sprinkling of cheese over top of casserole
2 medium pears, D’anjou or Comice preferable½ c finely chopped walnuts
flour 4 T
butter 4 T
whole milk – 2 cups
Course Salt
White pepper
Cayenne pepper

1. Chop or process walnuts until the pieces are about pea sized.
2. Peel, core and thinly slice two pears, cutting in half again the opposite way. Cover pear in the 2 cups of milk to prevent them from turning brown.
3. Cook pasta in Salted boiling water until el dente, 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain Pasta and set aside.
4. While Pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a 2 qt. sauce pan. On med heat, add flour to make a paste and cook for 1 minute while whisking. Drain the milk from the pears and add in 3 parts, whisking and stirring after each part for 2 minutes. Add grated cheddar and stir. When the cheese is melted, add the goat cheese into the creamy sauce. Add a few gratings or pinches of nutmeg. Add a couple dashes of cayenne pepper. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir the Pasta into the cheese sauce and add to the casserole dish.
Spread the pears over the surface of the casserole and poke them in to the cheese mixture a little bit.
Dot with crumbles of blue cheese.
Sprinkle with the walnuts.
Scatter a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 375 for 20minutes or until bubbling and browning nicely on top. Broil on high tempeture for 1 minute if Parmesan isn't golden brown.

(I made this with whole wheat pasta rigato the first time. The whole wheat flavor was delicious but all in all too much like eating bricks! So, back to the good goo... Mac and Cheese is suppose to be gooey!) Let me know if you try this recipe. Or your ideas...

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