Mac and Cheese with Morels and Herbed Breadcrumb Topping

Slofoodgroup Team November 03, 2019

Morel Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Earthy morel mushrooms have a distinctive and utterly delicious flavor. Fresh morels are most commonly harvested in the spring and summer months, but the dehydrated variety is available year-round. Even better, unlike other dried fungi, morels maintain their flavor, shape, and texture when rehydrated.

Morels are a perfect counterpart to the herbs and cheeses in this easy mac and cheese dish. We used a combination of smoked Gouda and parmesan cheeses but feel free to substitute with your favorite varieties!

Mac and Cheese with Morels and Herbed Breadcrumb Topping

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried macaroni or other curly pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 ounces dried morel mushrooms, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, drained and sliced into thick rings
  • Fresh thyme and sage sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces smoked Gouda, grated on the large hole side of a box grater
  • 4 ounces parmesan, grated on the small hole side of a box grater
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain, toss with a little bit of olive oil (to prevent sticking) and set aside.
  2. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms, along with a few thyme and sage leaves, for 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, discard the herbs and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low; do not wipe out the skillet.
  3. Melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Whisk continuously until thickened – do not bring to a boil. Add both kinds of cheese and stir until melted. Add the drained pasta and reserved morels and stir to coat. If your skillet is ovenproof, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes (if it’s not ovenproof transfer to a casserole, cover, and proceed as above).
  4. While the homemade macaroni and cheese is baking, stir the panko with 2 teaspoons each finely chopped thyme and sage leaves. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into 4 pieces each.
  5. After 30 minutes, uncover the pasta, top with the herbed panko and scatter the diced butter on top. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Find the best in quality of dehydrated morel mushrooms at a fair price here!





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