*This reader favorite originally ran in the February 2013 issue of
January 2014 Issue
Reader Favorite: Mac and Cheese Comforts
Ohio chefs Marilyn Harris and Rocco Whalen share tasty macaroni and cheese recipes.
Marilyn's Mac and Cheese
Courtesy of Marilyn Harris | Serves 8
3 cups milk (either whole or 2 percent)
1 small onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (Comte is best), divided
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained
Pour the milk into a nonreactive saucepan. Add the onion, bay leaf,
parsley, thyme and peppercorns and heat on stovetop until scalded.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes to infuse the flavors
into the milk. Strain and return the milk to the pan. Reheat.
In a heavy pan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over medium
heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Pour in
the hot milk and whisk until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove
from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the Gruyere and the
Parmigiano-Reggiano, stirring until the cheeses melt. Season with salt,
mustard and Tabasco. Fold in the macaroni. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour macaroni mixture into a buttered
1-1/2-to-2-quart baking dish. Top with the remaining cup of Gruyere.
Bake in the center rack for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Courtesy of Rocco Whalen | Serves 4–6
3 6-ounce lobster tails, precooked or raw (save shells for sauce)
2 tablespoons oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 ounces brandy
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 quart heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Brie
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound rigatoni, cooked according to package directions, drained
Sun-dried tomatoes and chives for garnish
If using raw lobster tails, bake at 350 degrees for 20–25 minutes or until opaque. Once cool, chop meat and reserve shells.
For the sauce:
Heat oil in a large pan, add celery and onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add salt and tomato paste until it caramelizes (about 2–3 minutes),
deglaze with brandy. Add paprika, cayenne, cream, water and lobster
shells. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain out shells and add
Brie, Parmesan and goat cheese and simmer until thick, stirring
occasionally. Add lobster meat to sauce. Season with salt and pepper to
taste. Pour sauce over pasta, garnish with sun-dried tomatoes and