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Tarragon Mac and Cheese


Tarragon Mac and Cheese

About this Recipe:

This recipe was created by The Food Geek at TheFoodGeek.com.

After eating some tasting menu or another (I do so many, I can hardly keep track), I wanted to replicate a taste combination of garlic and tarragon. This is not an uncommon combination by any stretch of the imagination, but it was after this tasting that I was making the Good Eats baked macaroni and cheese that I decided to make this variant. The tarragon adds a lovely undertone of sweetness that takes what would otherwise be a fantastic macaroni and cheese and turns it into something slightly exotic.


Main Ingredients:

Elbow macaroni: 1/2 lb
Butter: 3 tbsp
Flour: 3 tbsp
Powdered mustard: 1 tbsp
Garlic powder: 1 tbsp (or 1 minced garlic)
Milk: 3 cup
Yellow onion: 1 small or medium, diced
Fresh Tarragon: 1 tbsp, chopped
Large egg: 1
Extra sharp cheddar cheese: 1 cup, shredded
Colby cheese: 1 cup, shredded
Salt and Pepper


Topping:

Butter: 2 tbsp
Panko bread crumbs: 1 cup


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Cook your pasta in boiling water. Remember, it's going to bake some more, so leave a little bite there.

3. Melt the topping butter in a pan and mix in the panko. Set aside.

4. Take the 3 tablespoons of butter and melt in a large sauce pan. Add the onions and sweat (or sofrito). Whisk in the flour and stir for a few minutes, until there is a nutty smell or until the flour starts turning a shade or so darker of brown.

5. Stir in the milk, herbs, spices, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if the bechamel is lackluster in flavor.

6. Crack the egg into a small bowl and pour in a bit of the bechamel to temper the egg. Mix that, and pour it into the sauce pan.

7. Stir in 2/3 of the cheese. Stir or fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish, or a deep 8 round casserole, or whatever seems to hold it best. I tend to use the pyrex baking dishes because they have a convenient cover and carrying case for taking to parties.

8. Cover with the rest of the cheese and cover that with the buttery panko.

9. Bake for 30 minutes. If, for whatever reason, the panko is not golden brown and delicious, put it back in until it is.

10. If you are of strong will, let rest for a few minutes before eating. I usually do that. For the second serving.

Notes: Choose your cheddar carefully. While the recipe can be made with whatever cheese you have, the relatively small amount of cheddar is best served by something with a lot of flavor. This means that you will be shredding the cheddar yourself, a task that I usually delegate to the shredding disc of my food processor. The Colby is mainly there for mellowing out the cheddar as well as a certain general texture to the taste.

Published on August 21, 2010
Last edited on August 22, 2010

Herbs & Spices in this Recipe:

Tarragon
Tarragon
Garlic
Garlic

More Rice and Pasta Recipes:

Lentil and Rice Pilaf Recipe
Lentil and Rice Pilaf
Chicken and Pasta with Orange Sauce Recipe
Chicken and Pasta with Orange Sauce
Broccoli Pasta Recipe
Broccoli Pasta

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Servings
 
6
Easiness
 
Intermediate
Prep Time
 
10 min
Cook Time
 
50 min
Ready in
 
1 hour
Comments
 
3
5 Ratings
 
Average rating: 4.2



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Comments: 3

Lavern Owie, Guest2010 Dec 02
Average rating: 5
Thanks for the post. really great! this is my favorite since i was a child. thumbs up!

Wedlinks2010, Guest2011 Jan 13
Average rating: 4
delicious food. thank you for the post. wedding favors cheap

Tisha, Guest2011 Aug 14
Average rating: 4
I made something similar to this last weekend but I did not use Tarragon. I wonder what kind of flavor it gives the macaroni. I heard that it is vaguely related to the licorice family. Is that true? Anyway, sounds like a great recipe. I will try this one next weekend. Thanks!

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