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Mac and Cheese from The Publick House

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jim Sklave
Chef Jim Sklaver

The Publick House
1648 Beacon St., Brookline
617-277-2880

(Boston.com Photo / Nicole Way)
Question: How does the chef at The Publick House make that wonderfully delicious baked mac and cheese? I try relentlessly to recreate it at home but I'm never entirely successful. Help!
- Kelly Andreoni, Revere

Recipe courtesy of chef Jim Sklaver:

Serves 8

2 pounds macaroni pasta
Two sticks unsalted butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 quarts to 1 gallon whole milk
1/2 quart heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated mild white cheddar
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large stockpot set over high heat, cook pasta in salted boiling water until mostly tender but with a little bite in the center (al dente). Drain.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt butter and add onion. Cook for 4-6 minutes until onion is translucent and tender. Add flour and stir to combine. Lower heat to low and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Make bechamel: Add nutmeg and three quarts milk and cook over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the roux until it thickens to the consistency of pudding. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick (if the spoon can stand straight up in the center of the pot). Remove from heat.

5. When bechamel is cool, fold in the cheeses, then transfer cheese mixture to a large stock pot set over medium heat. Add heavy cream and cook cheese until melted, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat it completely with the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Transfer mixture to a large oven-safe casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the top is browned.
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