Turkey & Robusto Mac and Cheeselets
By AMNW Intern
8 ounces elbow macaroni
6 ounces cooked turkey, shredded (about 1¼ cups)
12 ounces Robusto, Gouda, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese, shredded, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cranberry sauce or cranberry jam (see below for recipe)
1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
2. Once the macaroni has cooled, toss it with the turkey, 5 ounces of Robusto, and sage in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. To prepare the mornay sauce, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Place the olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium flame. Add the flour and stir with a flat-edge wooden paddle just until the roux begins to take on a light brown color, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon—a finger drawn along the back of the spoon should leave a clear swath. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Add 5 ounces of the remaining Robusto to sauce, reserving 2 ounces, and stir until completely melted.
4. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring ¼ cup of the mornay sauce into the bowl with the eggs while whisking continually. Once combined, add the eggs to the rest of the mornay and whisk together. Carefully fold the pasta into the mornay sauce.
5. Spoon macaroni and cheese into the cups of a well-greased muffin tin. Two or three good spoonfuls per cheeselet should be fine, and they shouldn’t be too heaping big. Level with the pan is just enough. Top each with some of the remaining Robusto and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Cool for 3 minutes and serve with a few spoonfuls of cranberry jam.
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
12 ounces whole fresh cranberries (if using frozen, defrost first)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon butter
Place the water, sugar, and orange juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries, vanilla extract, and butter. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up a bit. Serve hot, warm, or cold.
Alternative cheeses: Marieke Gouda, Willamette Valley Aged Gouda, Branched Oak Nettle Gouda, any excellent Dutch goat’s-milk Gouda, Emmentaler, Gruyère
Wine pairings: Viognier, Rhône Valley white blends, rosé, Gamay, Pinot Noir
Additional pairings for the cheese: fenugreek, smoked country ham