Scandinavian Mac and Cheese
Originally posted in 406 Woman Magazine
Well, let’s face it, winter is here and however much they say that white is not in style, the outdoors would disagree. That does not mean that comfort and flavor are not in season. With the amazing pantry we have, winter will be a true celebration. Traditions are key and additions to the norm are a way to stay modern. If I truly think back to my favorite comfort food, it is certainly not mashed potatoes. Macaroni and cheese with flavor hits the spot no matter the temperature. I am going to give you a few of our family traditional recipes to make your own and use throughout the Holiday season.
Here is my favorite – Scandinavian Mac and Cheese
Base: basic béchamel sauce – melt 3 Tablespoons of butter with 2 Tablespoons of flour for 2 minutes then whisk in 2 Cups of milk then transform it into a Mornay sauce by adding ½ Cup each of Gruyere and Muenster cheese slowly (many recipes call for Parmesan instead of Muenster but that is my favorite). Add a touch of Louisiana Hot Sauce for flavor plus sea salt and ground pepper.
Noodles: your personal choice – I prefer penne as the sauce sticks to them better. The biggest hints are to add salt to the water and taste your noodles to make sure they still have bite. You will be baking them soon for the final touch.
Pulling the recipe together: Find your best Pickled Mackerel or Sardines and dice. Add a bit of the pickling liquid. I prefer adding capers also. Stir into sauce with noodles and place in a baking pan. Top with toasted breadcrumbs. Pull from the oven when browned on top.
Hint to American tradition:
Skip the fish and add more cheeses – up to four like Monterey jack, Parmesan, Fontina, or Manchego.
Well your one side dish is a hit, but we need to have one more to really wow your family and guests. Do not worry, no green bean casserole, crusty buns, unrecognizable jello thing, or cranberry jelly that is shaped like a can (just a few of my childhood nightmares).
What is your family favorite? Could it be brussel sprouts, cabbage, fresh green beans, scalloped potatoes, or corn on the cob?
I am going to suggest an amazing flavor overload with winter corn. To me, it just does not seem right to have winter feast without corn or brussel sprouts. The following recipe has both.