My four-year old twins have strong opinions, particularly about food. They are connoisseurs of Mac and Cheese and have sampled extensively around the restaurants of Baristaville. Hands-down their favorite (and mine) is from Ruthie’s on Chestnut Street. More famous for their awesome thin crust pizza and real slow-smoked Bar-B-Q, their Mac and Cheese is rich and creamy with a slight cheesy bite; ooey and gooey, the ultimate comfort food.
I am very grateful that Culinary Institute of America (CIA) trained chef and owner, Eric Kaplan, was happy to share his Mac and Cheese recipe with us. As good as it is, this is an easy-peasy no-bake version, so there are no excuses to buy packaged Mac and Cheese again.
Here is Eric’s recipe for Ruthie’s Mac and Four Cheese:
Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- 8oz elbow macaroni
- 1oz butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 10oz milk
- 4oz heavy cream
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 oz cream cheese
- 1 oz Asiago cheese – grated
- 2 oz Cheddar cheese – grated
- 1oz Mozzarella
- 1 tsp salt
For the Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 tbs canola oil
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add the macaroni to a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool the pasta on a sheet pan.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and when it has melted, add the flour. Put on a low heat and stir continuously for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the milk and cream, stirring all the time. Then add the mustard and salt. Bring to a simmer, remembering to stir all the time, so it does not burn.
Add the cheese, turn off the heat, stir. When the cheese has melted in the sauce, add the cooked pasta.
To make the breadcrumbs which give a beautiful contrast of texture and a lovely initial crunch rub all ingredients together and toast in 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes, mix every minute so the edges do not burn. Let them cool on the pan before sprinkling over your Mac and Cheese.
Ruthie’s is open every day apart from Sunday and has live blues music throughout the summer. Catch Rich Reiter there on Friday July 1, 7-9pm, weather permitting.