Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese – The Best Gift for Mac & Cheese Lovers!

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

 

Macaroni and cheese lovers, or friends and family members of macaroni and cheese lovers, listen up! You probably know that I wrote a cookbook last year about making my favorite dish in the whole wide world: Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese. Well, the price for Melt has just been lowered on Amazon.com, to $20 from the original cover price of $30. That’s 33% off the cover price! If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your that cheese and pasta lover in your life, this is a great time to pick up a copy of the cookbook for a reduced rate.

Now, Melt isn’t your average mac and cheese cookbook. I’m cooking with real cheeses here, combining nostalgia of the old-school dish with high-quality ingredients to produce recipes that are both classic and chic. In Melt, you’ll find dishes that comfort and intrigue.

For a sneak peek, check out the cookbook trailer:

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese – The Official Trailer from Stephanie/SJS on Vimeo.
Melt includes over 40 full-color macaroni and cheese photographs, shot by food photographer Matt Armendariz and styled by food stylist Adam Pearson. Besides being a functional cookbook, it is also a visual homage to my favorite dish. Here’s a few pictures from the book:

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

German Käsespätzle Macaroni and Cheese with Caramelized Onions

 

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Buffalo Macaroni & Cheese with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

  Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese is available for purchase. Order your copy now! Below are some of my favorite online booksellers, or ask your local independent bookstore to order a few copies.*

A few more macaroni and cheese images from the cookbook, to whet your appetite:

 

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Goat Cheese Macaroni with Tomatoes and Fresh Dill

  Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Gruyere, and Italian Sausage (recipe here)

  Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Macaroni with Roasted Garlic and Shallots

  Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Macaroni Salad with Goat Cheese, Roasted Peaches, and Mint

  Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Traditional Macaroni Casserole with Ham

 

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Spanish Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Sun-dried Tomatoes

 

Summertime Macaroni Salad with Chèvre and Grilled Peaches

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- ‘Tis the season for grilled peaches, fresh goat cheese, and incredible macaroni salad. -

When I was writing Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, I had to relearn almost everything I thought I knew about flavor. Cooking with cheese is a unique experience, and when you’re working with artisan cheese, it’s important to take the cheese’s personality into consideration when picking herbs, spices, or other additional flavors for a dish. You certainly don’t want to drown out the flavor of the cheese, given it’s probably your intended star of the show! There was a lot of trial and error in recipe testing for the book, making sure I had a deep understanding of what spices paired well with cheeses made from a variety of different milks.

It turns out cheese and spice go hand in hand like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but only if you let the cheese lead. What I learned is to look at the flavor profile of the cheese (is it nutty? grassy? sweet? salty? funky?) and then consider what spices you would pair with these flavors on their own.

I’ve got some great spice and cheese pairings in Melt, such as Petit Basque, a sweet, nutty sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of France, which I coupled up with herby sage for a lovely floral-tinged experience. I’ve also got Humboldt Fog, a luscious goat’s milk cheese, paired with mint and parsley for an incredibly refreshing swath of flavor across your palate. Talk about happy flavor memories!

Speaking of happy flavors, what could be nicer than a blushing peach? The sun-kissed color, the ticklish feel of the fuzz, the sweet-as-sugar cane flavor. With grilled peaches, the flavors soars to a whole new level. This simple macaroni salad lets them shine–and without the nuisance of peach juice dribbling down your arm. Summer in a bowl, this is.

And if there is any cheese that pairs best with a peach, it’s Humboldt Fog. This humble–yet multi-award winning–specimen has become the herald for American-made artisan cheeses and shows up on nearly every cheese plate in the country, and with good reason. Crafted by Cypress Grove in Humboldt County, California, this goat milk cheese possesses plenty of flavor. Beneath its bloomy rind and runny sole lies a chalky, intoxicating paste that guards the savory core. A line of decorative vegetable ash runs through the middle, which gives it its distinct layer cake appearance.

This recipe appeared in Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, along with 74 other inspired cheese and pasta dishes. I do hope you’ll check it out.
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Havarti and Jarlsberg Chicken Phyllo Pie with Olives, Capers, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

A wonderful recipe not found in the book.

When we wrote Melt, we had a few astounding recipes that sadly just didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. This recipe is one of them. This was a FABULOUS dish, but it just didn’t fit into the overall narrative and flow of the cookbook.

Our love of jarlsberg cheese is mighty and unshakeable as was our desire to include it in Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. This recipe, while fantastic, just broke too far away from our interpretation of mac and cheese (phyllo, technically, is a pasta). We tried to talk ourselves into it, but to no avail and it was dismissed from the lineup.

The creamy texture of Danish Havarti pairs well with the pithy personality of classic Jarlsberg. Combined with yogurt and egg, these two cheeses create a smooth, tender filling that plays off the salty, savory flavors of these decidedly Mediterranean ingredients.

I think you’ll find this hearty pie a worthy departure from your standard definition of macaroni and cheese. Friends loved this recipe; in fact, panic ensued once the baking dish was empty.

This is a fantastic recipe for a lazy and chilly night indoors. Put on your favorite calming music and make away.

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Late Winter Salads and European Summer Cheeses

Classic Blue Log with Roasted Rhubarb, Rosemary Walnuts, and Rotini on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- Classic Blue with Roasted Rhubarb, Rosemary Walnuts, and Rotini -

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Turkey Mac-and-Cheeselets on KATU – Turkey Leftovers (Video)

Turkey Mac-and-Cheeselets on AM Northwest - Turkey Leftovers Video on http://www.theculinarylife.com

 

A few days ago I posted the recipe for our Turkey and Gouda Mac & Cheeselets, a great way to use up those turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. In the few days since then, KATU in Portland aired a segment I filmed on how to make these cute little portable baked macaroni and cheese dumplings. It’s a long segment that essentially shows the entire turkey leftovers recipe from beginning to end. To print the recipe, go here.

Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers Bliss: Turkey Mac-and-Cheeselets Recipe

Thanksgiving Leftover Bliss! Turkey Mac-and-Cheeselets on http://www.theculinarylife.com

 - Oodles of turkey leftovers? These portable mac & cheese lets are a delicious kid-friendly solution. -

Ok. The tryptophan haze has set in, as have the food coma, carb dive, and sugar crash. The dishes are done, the excess pie and casserole pawned off to friends and family in the last of your Tupperware. But if yours is anything like this household, you’ve likely got a metric ton of turkey leftovers sitting in a huge zip-top back in your fridge. What do with with it all? Well, besides turkey minestrone soup, healthy turkey-stuffed cabbage rolls, or an amazingly hearty turkey chili, why not try a unique macaroni and cheese dish from Melt?

Cooked in a muffin tin, these adorable individual mac-and-cheeselets are a good way to use up all that leftover turkey while exercising portion control… assuming you eat just one or two and not, like, seven. They are a perfect portable snack when Christmas shopping, hiking in the woods, or sitting through the long drive or flight home from wherever you celebrated your holiday. Just toss a few in a baggie and head out. They taste great at room temp!  [Read more…]

The Ultimate Holiday Dish: Baked Macaroni and Cheese in A Pumpkin

Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni on http://www.theculinarylife.com

I give you baked macaroni and cheese, in a pumpkin. Crazy easy, crazy impressive!

Thanksgiving is in a few days. Right now, households all over the country are practicing two should-be Olympic sports: the mad dash to the grocery store, and the clearing of space in your fridge for an enormous frozen bird (while still trying to fit all the other ingredients you’ll need for the big day). The idea of adding one more dish to your holiday menu may seem ridiculous, but hold on – I want to share something really special with you.

One sentence: a lusciously melty homemade macaroni and cheese gratin, baked in a sugar pumpkin with rosemary, sage, thyme, and Italian sausage.

This baked macaroni and cheese recipe was made for your Thanksgiving table – it takes very little actual work. Seriously, this is one of the easiest dishes in the book. You literally scrape out a pumpkin, pre-bake it, stir in some herbs, shredded cheese, cooked pasta, crumbled sausage, and finish in the oven to melt everything together. That’s it. You can even prepare the macaroni part the day before – just shred your cheese, cook your pasta and sausage, then combine and stash in a sealed container in the refrigerator. A few hours before showtime, pre-bake your pumpkin, drop in the macaroni, and finish the dish in the oven while the turkey is resting. Voila! Epic Thanksgiving side dish recipe.

And then there’s the visual splendor of this dish, which is unlike any other. When it comes to baked macaroni and cheese dishes, you’re not going to find a presentation more impressive than this. Imagine the looks on your family’s faces when you walk out of the kitchen carrying a whole steaming pumpkin, the aromas of rosemary, sage, thyme, and melty cheese swirling about the room. When you serve this gorgeous squash-bound gratin, you simply stick a big spoon in the middle and stir, scraping out swathes of sweet, baked pumpkin as you serve. I don’t use the word often, but this dish is magnificent.

Here we use Fontina and Gruyère, two old-school cheeses that can be found almost anywhere and are well known for both their gorgeous flavors and melting capabilities (fact: did you know that not all cheeses melt? More on this later, or in Basics chapter of Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese). The cheeses are flexible here, though, so you can use whatever you’ve got on hand. You can use all Fontina, all Gruyère, or even use all cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, Swiss cheese, or any combination thereof. I’ve made this dish with half Jarlsberg and half Monterey Jack, and it was incredible. Garrett once made it with aged cheddar – whatever they had handy at Trader Joe’s – along with chorizo and chipotle pepper. It was a show-stopper.

Our goal was to create a silky, stringy macaroni and cheese gratin, baked in a pumpkin, making for an epic cheese experience with a little something special. This is our Thanksgiving gift to you. We hope you enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’m so incredibly grateful for you, my readers. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Other Thanksgiving recipes you may enjoy:

And if you’re looking for lots of other macaroni and cheese dishes, check out this extra-special collection from Foodie:

 


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