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5 Things I Learned From Bobby Flay

5 Things I Learned From Bobby Flay


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A short but sweet encounter with the celebrity chef, who gave me 5 invaluable tips

Last night at FAGE’s Plain Kitchen event, Bobby Flay stood in front of a crowd of about 20 people, myself included, and taught us how to make a delicious hummus and a lamb salad using FAGE’s fat-free plain Greek yogurt. The class attendees ranged in age and experience, with the youngest student around 12 years old, and many had never held a knife before. While I felt pretty confident with how I’d perform in the class — as the Cook editor of The Daily Meal and all — Flay still managed to impart some new cooking wisdom and taught me that while I may have been more experienced than others in the class, no one is ever done learning how to cook. Here are five things I learned from Flay last night:

  1. Canola Oil and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Flay uses two, and only two, oils in his kitchen: canola and extra-virgin olive oil. Because of its high smoke point that allows it to stand up to high heat, canola oil is what he uses when cooking. Flay reserves extra-virgin olive oil for no-cook dishes such as salad dressings and aiolis.
  2. Dressing a Salad. Flay feels that a lot of people overdress their salads, especially when making one that uses delicate leaves that can easily become wilted or broken down. To prevent this from happening, he puts a pile of leaves in middle of a bowl and drizzles a tablespoon of salad dressing in a circle around them. He then gently pushes the leaves up against the edges of the bowl, and pushes them back into the center, carefully and very lightly dressing them as he goes.
  3. Lamb Marinade. Lamb and yogurt has always been a good pair, and last night Flay taught us how to make an amazing marinade using the two that will probably stay with me for life. First, we brushed the Greek yogurt all over a lean and thin lamb tenderloin, and then we created a spice rub using paprika, mustard powder, crushed fennel seed, coriander, salt, and pepper to rub all over it. The flavorful spice rub created a perfect crust around the tenderloin, while the yogurt kept it nice and tender while we sautéed it.
  4. Marbling. Flay told us that he always uses yogurt and some type of syrup in his dishes, but mixing the two together is simply not enough for him. Last night, he taught us the technique of marbling, which is when you take the back of a spoon and gently drag the heavier syrup through the yogurt to create a marble effect. You can do this with a number of things that have a thick consistency — like molasses, or a jam — to mix into something white such as yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese.
  5. Hummus with Texture. Flay likes his hummus with a little texture, so he had us roughly mash up whole chickpeas to fold into the yogurt, cumin, and chickpea hummus we puréed in a food processor. Some other creative additions were minced jalapeño and a few (or more) dashes of Tabasco sauce.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce


Bobby Flay's Shellfish Gumbo

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook the roux, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it’s a light caramel color, 5 to 7 minutes. Then stir in all the vegetables and the garlic, and cook until the mixture begins to turn a deep chocolate color, about 5 minutes.

2. Whisk the 4 cups hot stock into the roux mixture, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add more stock if the mixture is too thick. Season with the honey and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 inches of canola oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Put the cornmeal in a shallow baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Season the okra with salt and pepper, and toss it in the cornmeal. Fry the okra, in batches, in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add half of the shrimp to the pan and cook until just pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and shrimp.

5. Add the shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat to the sauce and simmer until the oysters are plump and cooked through, about 1 minute. Divide the seafood among 6 to 8 shallow bowls, ladle in some of the sauce, and garnish with the fried okra, chopped parsley, and green onions.

Shrimp Stock

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the shrimp shells and tails, onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half. Add 8 cups cold water, the tomato, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partially, and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain the stock through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.


Chef Bobby Flay Is Here to Help

He’s likely a familiar face from Food Network hits like Boy Meets Grill, Beat Bobby Flay or Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Or maybe you know him from his award-winning restaurants (he’s been in the game for more than 25 years!) in New York City, Las Vegas, and beyond.

These days, though, Bobby’s been all about helping home cooks make the most of what they’ve got on hand. His Instagram is packed with videos that offer new ways to get inspired in the kitchen. And now he’s ready to do the the same for you and your Misfits Market box. “Misfits Market is all about making high quality produce and pantry items affordable and accessible. It’s a mission I can stand behind and I am thrilled to be joining the family,” he says. “I’m looking forward to seeing just what we can make together because with Misfits Market supplying the ingredients, there’s no limit to what we can whip up in the kitchen.”

Fast Facts about Flay

The kitchen has been his happy place for decades.
When he was eight, Bobby asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. His parents obliged (along with a G.I. Joe, to “balance things out,” as he’s recounted), and ever since then this New York City native has had a passion for all things food. Shortly after he left high school at age 17, his dad enlisted him to become a busboy at famed New York restaurant Joe Allen. A year later, he enrolled in culinary school and his path to success in the food world was forged.

He’s a legit restaurant mogul
After a brief interlude working on the New York Stock Exchange, Bobby went back to the kitchen and at age 26 became executive chef of the critically-acclaimed Mesa Grill. There, he honed his signature Southwestern-inspired style, winning the 1993 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year and eventually going on to open a host of fine-dining restaurants across the U.S. (The remaining outpost of Mesa Grill in Las Vegas is transforming into Amalfi by Bobby Flay, an Italian seafood concept, in 2021.) He’s also the guy behind Bobby’s Burger Palace, a chain of casual burger joints on the East Coast.

He’s basically the definition of celebrity chef
Thanks in large part to his Food Network hosting gigs, he was the first chef to get his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Even more impressive: Bobby was the subject of an entire Jeopardy! category, in which all the clues featured him. #lifegoals

but he’s not the only star at home
His cat, Nacho, an Orange Maine Coon, is an Instagram influencer in his own right with more than 200,000 fans. Worth a follow for the food-inspired name alone, the feed also features cameos from Nacho’s equally-gorgeous feline sister Stella.

Tell us: What do you want to learn from Bobby? Any specific Misfits Market ingredients that always stump you in the kitchen? Leave a comment and your request may be covered in a future video!


Bobby Flay’s Sautéed Delicata Squash with Pumpkin Spices

One of Bobby Flay’s special, practically no-recipe-needed-at-all dishes takes advantage of late-season zucchini, a veggie you might often forget about in your crisper drawer. The mild squash becomes nutty, soft, and fragrant when given the attention it deserves. (A lot of garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese doesn’t hurt either.) Pair it with whatever pasta you have on hand, and lots of fresh basil, for a weeknight dinner that takes less than 20 minutes and will soon become part of your regular rotation.

Watch Bobby make this delicious dish in minutes:

Get to know Bobby

He’s likely a familiar face from Food Network hits like Boy Meets Grill, Beat Bobby Flay or Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Or maybe you know him from his award-winning restaurants (he’s been in the game for more than 25 years!) in New York City, Las Vegas, and beyond.

These days, though, Bobby’s been all about helping home cooks make the most of what they’ve got on hand. His Instagram is packed with videos that offer new ways to get inspired in the kitchen. And now he’s ready to do the the same for you and your Misfits Market box. “Misfits Market is all about making high quality produce and pantry items affordable and accessible. It’s a mission I can stand behind and I am thrilled to be joining the family,” he says. “I’m looking forward to seeing just what we can make together because with Misfits Market supplying the ingredients, there’s no limit to what we can whip up in the kitchen.”

Fast Facts about Flay

The kitchen has been his happy place for decades.
When he was eight, Bobby asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. His parents obliged (along with a G.I. Joe, to “balance things out,” as he’s recounted), and ever since then this New York City native has had a passion for all things food. Shortly after he left high school at age 17, his dad enlisted him to become a busboy at famed New York restaurant Joe Allen. A year later, he enrolled in culinary school and his path to success in the food world was forged.

He’s a legit restaurant mogul
After a brief interlude working on the New York Stock Exchange, Bobby went back to the kitchen and at age 26 became executive chef of the critically-acclaimed Mesa Grill. There, he honed his signature Southwestern-inspired style, winning the 1993 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year and eventually going on to open a host of fine-dining restaurants across the U.S. (The remaining outpost of Mesa Grill in Las Vegas is transforming into Amalfi by Bobby Flay, an Italian seafood concept, in 2021.) He’s also the guy behind Bobby’s Burger Palace, a chain of casual burger joints on the East Coast.

He’s basically the definition of celebrity chef
Thanks in large part to his Food Network hosting gigs, he was the first chef to get his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Even more impressive: Bobby was the subject of an entire Jeopardy! category, in which all the clues featured him. #lifegoals

but he’s not the only star at home
His cat, Nacho, an Orange Maine Coon, is an Instagram influencer in his own right with more than 200,000 fans. Worth a follow for the food-inspired name alone, the feed also features cameos from Nacho’s equally-gorgeous feline sister Stella.

Tell us: What do you want to learn from Bobby? Any specific Misfits Market ingredients that always stump you in the kitchen? Leave a comment and your request may be covered in a future video!


Bobby Flay's alleged infidelity with an assistant

Bobby Flay split with his third wife, actress Stephanie March of Law & Order: SVU, in 2015. It was widely reported that Flay spent three years having an extramarital affair with Elyse Tirrell, an aspiring singer and actress. Tirrell had worked her way up from her role as a hostess at Flay's Bar Americain in New York City to that of his assistant, according to Page Six.

As cheating rumors swirled, the chef and his PR team issued a statement to Us Weekly about the allegations. "We will continue to refrain from responding to the continued efforts by certain parties to spread rumors and innuendo," the statement said. "This specific allegation was in a letter sent from one attorney in this case to the other. It was written and then leaked specifically to try to insert this story into the press, and that's unfortunate. Even more unfortunate is that all of this is being done in order to renegotiate a prenuptial agreement that was agreed to over a decade ago and never amended during the marriage." That's not exactly a denial of infidelity. It sounds more like an ugly chess move to lay blame at his ex's door.


A Recipe from the Chef: Bobby Flay's Grilled Chicken Salad

One of the many things we discussed in our recent two-part interview with Bobby Flay is his new Food Network cooking show Barbecue Addiction, which premieres on June 5th. From the way he describes it, he'll be the ringmaster in a grill circus, cooking multiple dishes on all different types of grills at the same time. If we've learned anything from watching Flay barbecue all these years, it's that far more than just burgers and dogs can be created over hot coals. Your backyard can be just as much of a kitchen as the real thing. In that vein, turn the page to see his recipe for a deliciously dressed up grilled chicken salad.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Apricot Glaze, Homemade Mustard Seed Dressing and Grapes-Almonds-Fresno Chiles

2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

5 tablespoons chardonnay vinegar

1 tablespoon finely diced shallots

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Red and Green Grapes, halved

1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chardonnay vinegar

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless, chicken breast, pounded thin

1. Make the dressing: Heat mustard seeds in a small sauté pan over low heat until they pop and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove to bowl, whisk in the vinegar, shallots, mustard and honey and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified set aside.

2. Heat the grill to high for direct grilling. Brush fresno chiles with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on all sides. Remove to a bowl, cover and let steam for 15 minutes. Remove skin and seed and coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and add the grapes, almonds and chives set aside.

3. Make the glaze: Whisk together the apricot jam and vinegar and season with salt and π teaspoon of black pepper set aside.

4. Brush the chicken on both sides with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes per side, brushing both sides with some of the glaze. Remove each breast to a large dinner plate. Top with the grape salad and drizzle with the vinaigrette.


Bobby Flay's Rules for Cooking Porterhouse Steak

Bobby Flay grew up eating at the legendary Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn, where gruff waiters wield sizzling platters of sliced, with-the-bone porterhouses, enveloped in a mahogany crust. Years later, he spent time in the Luger kitchen while filming a TV show about how its steaks are prepared. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this guy doing?’ It was so far from proper technique.” Since then, Flay hasn’t made a steak any other way. Here’s how to achieve the mythic Peter Luger–style porterhouse at home. And, yes, butter is half the answer.

The thicker the steak, the better, says Flay. He recommends 1½ to 2 inches.The Porterhouse Rules

Start with a room-temperature, dry-aged porterhouse. Salt it aggressively on both sides. With a steak this thick, a little salt sprinkled on the outside won’t do it—make it rain.

Get a skillet really hot over medium-high heat (see Rule No. 1). Add a dash of a neutral oil to get things going. Place steak in pan. Don't touch it. After about 4 minutes, when it’s got a beautiful brown crust, move it to a cutting board, crust side up.

Cut the steak off the bone in two pieces—the strip on one side, the filet on the other. Cut straight down into thick slices perpendicular to the bone.

Here’s the cool part: Place the bone back in the hot pan, and reassemble the sliced meat alongside it, crust side up. Top the steak with a few fat pats of butter.

Heat broiler and place the pan underneath. Broil till sizzling and gorgeous and a perfect medium-rare, 4–6 minutes. (Since the steak is already sliced, you can peek to check doneness.)

Serve the porter-house directly from the pan, and spoon the buttery pan sauces over each portion.


Cookbook review: Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction

Bobby Flay is known for turning up the heat. In his latest cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson, he also takes things low and slow.

When you think about well-known chefs who grill, Bobby Flay settles in at the top of the list. Whether you’ve seen him grilling mouthwatering meats on one of his Food Network shows, or perhaps you’ve dined at one of his several restaurants, you know Bobby is basically all about the grill.

Ignite your appetite

Bobby’s latest cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, provides a slew of recipes that are prepared in many fashions using outdoor cooking methods. That means more than simply using standard gas grills. Bobby covers the basics of several different cookers (think charcoal grills, smokers, the Big Green Egg &mdash a smoker, grill and oven all in one, and more), as well as how to tend to the cooking methods of each. You’ll also find added tips that cover grilling utensils like skewers, brushes and thermometers as well as hints for what you need (and need to do) to host a perfect backyard barbecue.

Grilling around the world

Getting to the heart of things, you’ll find several festive and flavorful cocktail recipes as well as recipes for starters, poultry, pork, beef and lamb, and fish and shellfish. You’ll certainly find American barbecue favorites throughout the pages of this cookbook, like Southwestern marinated grilled salmon with tomato-red chile chutney and New York street-cart dogs with onion sauce and red pepper relish.

Bobby also includes globally-inspired dishes like his open-faced Cuban pulled pork sandwiches with sour orange-jicama slaw, and grilled halibut with corn-coconut curry sauce and grilled cherry tomato chutney. He says that as a result of his international travels, he realized that, “almost every country, every culture, has its own version of barbecue.” Flip through the pages, and you’ll discover dishes that are seasoned, smoked and sizzling with the flavors found in the Southwestern United States, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, the Caribbean, Northern Italy and additional locales.

These 150 recipes will inspire you to take to the backyard and fire up the grill, whatever type you prefer.

Try a recipe from Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction:

Mole-rubbed lamb tenderloin quesadillas with ancho-cherry jam

Ingredients:

For the quesadillas

  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexican chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile de arbol powder
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 pounds lamb tenderloin, trimmed of extra fat
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Canola oil
  • 12 (6 inch) white corn tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese

For the ancho-cherry jam

  • 2 dried ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clover honey
  • 1 pound fresh sweet red cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

For the quesadillas

  1. Combine the chili powders, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub each tenderloin with some of the mole rub and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat your grill to high for direct grilling.
  3. Stir together the goat cheese and crema and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Drizzle the lamb with oil and grill until golden brown on both sides and cooked to medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the lamb to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Put 8 of the tortillas on a flat surface. Divide the cheddar cheese over the tortillas and season each layer with salt and pepper.
  6. Stack the tortillas to make four 2-layer tortillas and top each with 1 of the remaining 4 tortillas. Brush the tops of the tortillas with oil. Carefully place the quesadillas on the grill, oil side down, and grill until golden brown, about 1 minute. Brush the tops with oil and turn the quesadillas over. Close the cover and grill until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet, put the baking sheet on the grill, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  7. Cut the quesadillas into quarters and top with ancho-cherry jam, goat cheese crema, lamb and chopped parsley.

For the ancho-cherry jam

  1. Soak the ancho chilies in 2 cups hot water for 30 minutes. Remove from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Transfer the chilies to a food processor with 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid and process until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the orange juice, 1/4 cup of the ancho soaking liquid, the brown sugar, and honey and stir until the brown sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cherries and ancho puree and cook until the cherries soften and begin to break down and the mixture thickens, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the jam to a bowl, stir in the cilantro, and let cool to room temperature.

About the Authors

Bobby Flay, a New York Times best-selling author, is the chef-owner of six fine-dining restaurants, including Mesa Grill, Bar Americain, and Bobby Flay Steak, and numerous Bobby’s Burger Palaces. He is the host of many popular cooking shows on Food Network, from the Emmy-winning Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Grill it! with Bobby Flay and Boy Meets Grill, to the Iron Chef America series, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, and Food Network Star.

Stephanie Banyas has been Bobby Flay’s business assistant since 1996. She is the co-author of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown! Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries & Shakes Bobby Flay’s Grill It! Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook and Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life. She lives in New York City.

Sally Jackson lives in New York City with her husband, their son, and one especially well-fed poodle. This is her sixth cookbook with Bobby Flay and Stephanie Banyas.


Bobby Flay's Creme Brulee Yogurt Parfait

Makes 4-6 parfaits depending on the size of the ramekins you use.

You will need a small handheld blowtorch for these.

Prep Time: 20 minutes: Cook Time: 2-3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 pint fresh berries (I used a mixture of blueberries and raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or granola (or both if you want)
  • 8-10 teaspoons turbinado sugar

The Recipe

1. Place the berries in a small saucepan with the water and simmer for about 5 minutes until berries are softened and have begun to break down. Add the sugar to taste and stir. Then add the lemon juice and stir. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Fill the ramekins (I used 6) with the cooled fruit. Then top with the nuts or granola or a combination of both. Divide the yogurt evenly between the ramekins, filling them to the top. Then cover each one with plastic wrap and freeze for 5-10 minutes.

3. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of the turbinado sugar over the tops of each ramekin and caramelize the tops with the blowtorch. Let the sugar harden for a couple of minutes and serve immediately.

Note: Recipe adapted from Brunch @Bobby's by Bobby Flay. To cut down on time, I used vanilla yogurt rather than plain yogurt infused with a vanilla bean and also added some chopped nuts.


Bobby Flay's Upscale Mac 'n Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like mac n' cheese. Whether your mom made it from a box or she whipped up her own recipe, there aren't many people out there who don't have some sort of childhood memory of it.

Unfortunately, it is often considered a low-end food, not worthy of gourmet consideration.

But Bobby Flay, our resident chef, is here to dispel all of that. He says that there are all sorts of gourmet, high-end ways to serve everyone's favorite entrée.

He's preparing a recipe that won him a "Throwdown" competition almost a year ago. His famous Throwdown Macaroni and Cheese Cabonara recipe took down Delilah Winder, a famous soul food chef in Philadelphia. It has an "almost béchamel" sauce and is served baked with pancetta.

He is also sharing the recipes for Pasta with Four Cheeses and Roasted Garlic and Penne Ala Vodka Macaroni and Cheese.

Throwdown Macaroni & Cheese Carbonara

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-inch thick piece pancetta, cut into small dice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 to 7 cups whole milk, heated
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups Irish white Cheddar, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups Mountain Valley Cheddar, plus more for the top
1 cup grated Fontina cheese, plus more for the top
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for the top
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a large baking pan and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in 5 cups of the hot milk, increase the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme and all of the cheese until completely melted, season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add some of the remaining milk ¼ cup at a time. Place the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, reserved pancetta and parsley and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Combine together additional fontina, cheddar, asiago and parmesan in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni. Bake in the oven until heated through and the top is lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Penne Al a Vodka Macaroni & Cheese

Vodka Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
Pinch of red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup vodka
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta, slightly under al dente
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
Fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the oil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, and cook until soft and the mixture has thickened. Add the heavy cream and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley and basil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl, add the sauce and the parmesan cheese and mix until combined. Transfer to a large baking dish and place the cheese evenly over the top. Place in the oven and cook until warmed through and the mozzarella melts, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with basil leaves.

Pasta with Four Cheeses and Roasted Garlic

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
¾ cups whole milk
¾ cups heavy cream
8 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
1 cup grated fontina cheese
¾ cup crumbled Gorgonzola
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons Romano cheese
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 pound penne pasta, cooked slightly under al dente
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the milk and cream, bring to a boil and cook until thickened, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the roasted garlic puree all of the cheese (except the 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and the Romano) and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place the penne in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, thyme and parsley and stir to combine. Scrape the mixture into a large baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of parmesan and 2 tablespoons of Romano and evenly sprinkle the mixture over the top of the penne. Bake until heated through and the top is lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes.



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