Elizabeth Ryan of Charlotte writes: My fiancé and I would love the mac n cheese recipe from Bull & Barrister in Mountain Island Lake. Everyone who tries it agrees it is the best theyve had. We have tried re-creating it at home, but cannot get the right creaminess or just the right spices, or even the right broiled crispness on top.
The menu at Bull & Barrister lists the macaroni as secret, and truthfully, it took some coaxing to get executive chef Dan Glasser to part with the recipe.
Having had the macaroni and cheese, I understand why he was reluctant to give it up.
The sauce has a bit of a kick, thanks to some cayenne pepper. There are fennel seeds, which have almost a sweet, grassy flavor. Maybe that sounds odd, but the fennel does a suburb job of punching through the richness of all the cheese. Diced red pepper and roasted garlic are around for texture. And after the macaroni is baked, theres a brown, chewy crust.
So Id have an idea of what my final product should look and taste like, I popped into Bull & Barrister to try the macaroni. The restaurant bakes it in individual, 8-ounce portions.
After baking one large casserole and an individual serving, I like the individual method best. You get a larger amount of crispy top and the cheese seems to flow through the macaroni better, creating more creaminess.
Experiment with portion sizes to your hearts content, because this recipe yields a large amount of sauce.
What to do with the leftovers? The sauce goes great on nachos and baked potatoes. You could even thin it out with more milk, throw in some cooked, diced potatoes and garnish with crisp bacon and green onions for a mean potato-cheese soup.
Robin Domeier is owner of Nibbles Personal Chef.
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