Time for a Transition

by Hannah Joseph

If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for the transition of seasons. Let me rephrase that. By no means do I mean the weather. But, I love the change that cafes make during this time of year, going from pumpkin spice everything to decadent peppermint mochas.
However, if you’re a serious foodie, it’s always during November that we become conflicted with what new recipes we should try or the traditional recipes to stick with. Don’t worry though, there’s a solution.
With my many years of research with various foods (and by that I mean trying almost every recipe on the planet) one meal never seems to fail, it’s versatile for vegetarians and meat lovers, doesn’t take too long to make, and you’re able to substitute you’re favorite ingredients without worrying about it ruining the taste of the dish. Ladies and Gentleman, I present you with:

Three Cheese Macaroni
1 large egg
1 12 -ounce can evaporated whole milk
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups grated Muenster cheese (4 ounces), plus 4 deli-thin slices (1 ounce)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
4 cups medium pasta shells (9 ounces)

1. Whisk the egg, evaporated milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl. Toss the grated cheeses in a separate bowl.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until almost falling apart, about 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add the pasta to the same water and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Preheat the broiler to 375°.
3. Combine the egg mixture and the grated cheeses in the empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheeses melt and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the cauliflower. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth and light (you can also use a regular blender). Stir in some of the reserved pasta water until creamy.
4. Toss the pasta in the sauce; season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a shallow casserole dish and top with Muenster slices. Broil in oven until golden brown, which should take about 5 minutes.

This is one of my absolute favorite renditions of mac-and-cheese. Now all you need to do is add bread crumbs and drizzle some buffalo wing sauce on the top and you’ve got mac-and-cheese with a little kick!