We Can’t Stop Thinking About Thomas Keller’s Mac and Cheese

One reason why: equal parts cheese and pasta

By Martha Upton

Published on February 14, 2017

Anything that includes the phrase "bake until golden and bubbly" in a recipe catches our attention right away. Especially this mac and cheese from none other than Thomas Keller. Excuse us: macaroni au gratin. You know what the au gratin part means? Cheese, cheese, and more cheese. But specifically Comte, fontina, or Gruyere. Your choice.

What makes this macaroni a step above store-bought macaroni from the box (sorry Kraft) is, well, pretty much everything. A one-to-one ratio of cheese to pasta. Minced onion to boost the flavor of the cheese sauce. Bits of nutmeg and garlic to good measure. And plenty of breadcrumbs on top to add additional crunch to the layer of crispy cheese that forms on top.

Bouchon Bistro in Napa Valley serves this dish as part of its Thanksgiving menu, but we really can't think of a time you wouldn't want to serve this up.

Macaroni au Gratin

The foundation of this creamy casserole is a classic mornay sauce, a béchamel sauce to which cheese has been added—in this case, comté, a French cheese with a complex, nutty flavor that melts beautifully. With lots of freshly grated nutmeg to season it and a golden, crunchy breadcrumb topping, it’s a luscious, satisfying side dish for the Thanksgiving table. The dish comes from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, in the Napa Valley, where the staff makes it as part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner for veterans and their families.

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