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Macaroni and Cheese

In our variation on a classic, mac and cheese is cooked on a backyard grill. This homey dish is the perfect partner for smoky barbecue meat loaf (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter  
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour  
  • 6 cups milk, warmed 
  • 1 clove 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled 
  • 1 Tbs. dry sherry  
  • 3 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese  
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste  
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste  
  • 1 1/2 lb. dried macaroni, cooked until al dente and drained 
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, toasted 

Directions:

Place a 4-quart legumier or other cast-iron Dutch oven on the side burner of a grill over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pot. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the flour and butter thicken into a paste and smell fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not let the mixture brown. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth and blended. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent the sauce from scorching and lumps from forming, then reduce the heat to low. 



Using the clove, attach the bay leaf to the onion and add it to the sauce. Stir in the sherry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the onion. Add 2 cups of the cheese and stir until blended. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg and stir until blended.


Meanwhile, prepare the grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat.


Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until well coated. Scatter the remaining 1 cup cheese on top and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese. Place the pot on the grill over indirect heat, cover the grill and cook for 15 minutes, maintaining the internal grill temperature at 375°F. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.