Macaroni Au Gratin (Photo by Mark Micheli)
Here’s a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “French Home Cooking,” by Paul Bocuse:
Macaroni Au Gratin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: About 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients for 6 servings:
1 pound long macaroni
1 clove garlic, peeled and split lengthwise
4 1/2 cups milk
Nutmeg (preferably, fresh ground)
3/4 cup, plus tblspoons, of heavy cream
4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
2 ounces butter (preferably unsalted), cut into small pieces
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350
Cook macaroni in rapidly boiling salted water for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander (do not cool).
Rub a large baking dish with the garlic and butter it well.
Heat the milk in a large saucepan and season generously with salt, pepper, and a just a pinch or two of nutmeg (Note: Nutmeg is strong, especially fresh-ground, and you don’t need much to add flavor).
Stir in the cream and the macaroni, then pour into the baking dish.
Sprinkle with grated cheese, dot with butter, and bake for one hour (the macaroni should bake for a long time; it will finish cooking in the milk and become beautifully browned on top).