Just about everyone has a ‘grown-up’ mac & cheese recipe, by which they mean they flavor it with parmesan or brie, or add cumin or red pepper or even throw in some vegetables (egads, KALE!). And all of these are delicious (except for the brie mac & cheese, because stinky cheese is an abomination). Here’s how I do grown-up mac & cheese: add vermouth. Vermouth adds a depth and delicacy of flavor, and is my go-to for most grain-product-cooked-in-a-pot dishes, such as risotto. Heavier flavored grains products (such as actual grains, instead of pasta) or strongly flavored cheeses could stand up to a more robust or sharp alcohol, such as a white wine, but all I had on hand were cheddar and romano. I also steamed broccoli over the pasta water, so there is a nice punch of green in the pot.
Grown-up Mac & Cheese (inspired by Fuss Free Cooking)
- 1/4 c butter
- 1/4 c flour
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 1/2 c vermouth
- 2 c shredded cheese, combination cheddar and roman
- black pepper
- small head broccoli
- Cook pasta and steam broccoli.
- Heat butter and flour together in large sauce pan. Once smoothly combined, add milk. Stir till combined. Add vermouth. Cook till sauce begins to thicken.
- Add cheese. Stir till combined. Season with black pepper.
- Drain pasta and combine with broccoli. Add to sauce pan and stir till well covered with sauce. Add more cheese if desired.