Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chow Down: Greek Macaroni and Cheese.


I don't know if I could convince Mike to eat this, but it sure sounds delicious to me.

Greek Mac and Cheese

3 slices crustless white bread, torn into small pieces (I'd use Whole Wheat and probably leave the crusts on)
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt, to taste
8 oz. hollow pasta, preferably elbow macaroni
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
4 cups grated graviera or kefalotyri cheese (about 12 oz.) (I imagine any cheese would be good here, but a mixture of provolone and jack cheeses will probably be my choice)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 large shallots, finely chopped (I'll switch the shallots and scallions for half a large onion and a couple cloves of garlic)
16 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped (I'll use a little less for Mike's sake)
8 scallions cut into 1/4"-thick rounds
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
1 3/4 cups crumbled feta (about 8 oz.)

1. Put bread into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Put bread crumbs and 3 tbsp. butter into a small bowl and combine; set aside. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. Heat remaining butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Still whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in milk and cook until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 10–15 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in graviera, cinnamon, and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper; set b├ęchamel sauce aside.

3. Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add spinach and scallions and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved b├ęchamel sauce, the dill, and the reserved pasta and transfer mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bread crumbs and the feta. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

SERVES 8–10

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