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Mac and Cheese Done Right!

There's nothing like a hearty helping of creamy macaroni and cheese to warm you up on a cold winter's night.

And nobody does mac and cheese better than John DeLucie, executive chef at the Waverly Inn and the soon-to-open Lion restaurant, both in New York.

He shared some of his secrets on "The Early Show". We guarantee you've never had it like this!

John's homemade mac and cheese is a creamy mixture of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, plenty of milk and butter, and a little touch of cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch. But what really sets John's mac and cheese apart are the fresh black truffles that he shaves over the dish when they come out of the oven.

"Early Show" recipes galore!

RECIPES

Truffled Macaroni & Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 tablespoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
5 cups milk (see note)
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 teaspoon table salt
White truffle oil to taste
1 fresh truffle

METHOD:
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
2. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13-inch baking dish and Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, and then serve.
5. Shave seasonal truffles over each serving

Macaroni and Manchego Cheese with Chorizo

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound chorizo sausage diced
Coarse sea salt
1 pound cavatappi, or elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 C dry Sherry
2 cups (1 pound) manchego shredded

METHOD:
1. For the macaroni: bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt. Add cavatappi and stir well. Cook until al dente, then drain well and set aside.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt butter (do not brown) and add onions and bay leaf. Sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes, then discard bay leaf. Add chorizo, cook until crisp add sherry cook until reduced then flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk, then cream. Simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cheese, 1 teaspoon Tabasco and salt to taste. Stir pasta into cheese sauce; adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover, remove from heat, and keep warm.
3. To serve, place equal portions of macaroni in four wide shallow bowls.

Yield: 4 servings.

FOR ANOTHER YUMMY RECIPE, GO TO PAGE 2.

Macaroni and Goats Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE MACARONI:
Coarse sea salt
1 pound cavatappi, preferably De Cecco brand
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cups (1 pound) goat cheese
3/4 cup chopped roasted peppers, half red and half yellow (bottled is fine)
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, more as needed

METHOD:
1. For the macaroni: bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons salt. Add cavatappi and stir well. Cook until al dente, then drain well and set aside.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt butter (do not brown) and add onions and bay leaf. Sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes, then discard bay leaf. Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk, then cream. Simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mustard, goats cheese, roasted peppers, black pepper, 1 teaspoon Tabasco and salt to taste. Stir pasta into cheese sauce; adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover, remove from heat, and keep warm.
3. To serve, place equal portions of macaroni in four wide shallow bowls.
Yield: 4 servings.