to the person who made national macaroni and cheese day deep in the heart of summer:
hi, what are you on?
national bbq day, which was yesterday, i get.
national gummy worm day, which is tomorrow, i guess i kind of get in some odd garden-related way.
but a food that usually requires standing over a hot pot of roux while your oven is pre-heating, and which will undoubtedly make a bathing suit the absolute last thing you want to put on?
i mean, ok, i won't fire you or anything because macaroni and cheese is my desert-island food, but i'm going to make some changes here in the name of *summer* (which around here has meant being stickier than an inside out sour patch kid and a couple of tornado warnings, but that doesn't really have anything to do with anything). please meet gouda yogurt mac and cheese with caramelized onions, peaches, and prosciutto. here are some things i would like you to know about him:
1. this is a stovetop-only situation. when the fall comes, i will be the first to tell you to turn on your oven, make it rain panko, and get a thick brown crust going on your mac. and then when the winter comes, i will be the first to tell you to get a deep fryer going too because fried mac and cheese is better than life itself. but for right now, in this heat, we don't need any of that, just a skillet and a pot.
2. roux who? ok, until recently i had only ever made mac and cheese with a roux! (you know, butter, flour, add some milk and make a béchamel, add your cheese and there you have your sauce, it takes kind of a while, it's super thick and creamy, it's so rich and good on a cold winter's day.) but then i was inspiiiiiired by diane kochilas' yogurt pasta, which makes an addictive creamy pasta sauce from yogurt and a bit of cheese, that's it. it's shockingly good and the tang of the yogurt is so summery and refreshing, i just can't get enough of it. so that's the sauce i've used here, but with shredded aged gouda.
3. it is good both hot and cold. how many meals have i spent tiptoeing across the kitchen with a stray fork, sneaking bites of cold leftover mac and cheese out of the fridge? many. i know good cold mac and cheese and i know great cold mac and cheese, and this is a great one. probably because yogurt in its natural state is cold.
4. i'm adding peaches. peaches and prosciutto and cheese are like hilary duff and dan humphrey and vanessa from gossip girl before things got weird.
so, there you have it. a truly summery mac and cheese that's sweet, salty, tangy, creamy, and super easy to make. it won't put you in an immediate food coma, but you should still wait 30 minutes before jumping in the pool.
the recipe for this mac and cheese is right this way, on an entire site devoted to macaroni and cheese, nestled next to things like mac and cheese egg rolls and a mac and cheese burger. so in other words, if fall rolls around and you can't find me, i'll probably be lurking on this site.
gouda mac and cheese with peaches and prosciutto
makes 4 - 6 servings
4 oz prosciutto, chopped
2 tb unsalted butter
1 white onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 yellow peaches, chopped
1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
6 oz Gouda, shredded, plus extra for topping
1 c plain Greek yogurt
In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the prosciutto until crispy, 3-5 minutes. The prosciutto should be fatty enough that you don’t have to grease the skillet, but if the skillet gets to be too dry, you can add a bit of oil or butter. Remove the prosciutto and set it aside. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and let it cook until very soft, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peaches and half of the prosciutto and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions. Strain it.
In a large bowl, mix together the shredded cheese, yogurt, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold in the hot pasta and the onion/peach/prosciutto mixture. Top with additional cheese and remaining prosciutto. The sauce will thicken once the pasta cools slightly.
thank you, wisconsin cheese, for sponsoring this post!!!!