Roasted Garlic and Thyme Mac n’ Cheese

If you love creamy, cheesy, herby, garlicky goodness you are going to fall head over heels in love with this macaroni and cheese. I did. And it happened again and again with each and every bite. I might even go so far as to say this is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. The roasted garlic is slightly sweet, the thyme earthy and the fresh cracked black pepper gives it the perfect bite. My mouth is watering just telling you about it. In fact, maybe I’ll make it again tonight.

The idea of putting an egg into macaroni and cheese is one that I’ve heard many times before.  I’ve been told that it makes the sauce creamier and kind of custardy. But I had never tried it. I decided that with this macaroni and cheese I’d give it a shot. I am a convert. It is glorious. It gives the cheese sauce an ultra creamy texture. The key however, is to temper the egg with the hot milk mixture before you add it to the sauce. Tempering will prevent the egg from curdling and becoming an eggy mess when you add it to the cheese sauce.

The Recipe

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 cups dried macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded medium cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves beneath, but do not peel the garlic, you want to roast it in the skin. Place bulb on a piece of aluminum foil, place butter on top, pour lemon juice over the garlic and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bring up all sides of aluminum foil and twist together to close. Cook for 45 minutes or until garlic cloves are soft and golden in color. Allow to cool. Once cool, use a fork to remove the garlic cloves. Mash. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Allow to cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Heat to a simmer but do not boil.
  5. Slowly whisk a couple tablespoons of the heated milk mixture into the egg to temper it. Pour into the milk mixture.
  6. Whisk in the cheese and allow to melt. Whisk in the mashed roasted garlic, fresh thyme, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in the pasta. Mix well. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes so sauce can thicken.
  7. Stir. Adjust seasoning if desired. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

  • http://fudgingahead.wordpress.com Aly

    I’d never heard of adding an egg! Interesting idea. :) I also love the roasted garlic. Mmm.

  • http://theobsessivechef.blogspot.com StephenC

    This is the kind of recipe that makes a person hungry when he has just finished dinner. That would be me.

  • http://www.shutupandcook.wordpress.com Shut Up and Cook

    While I like to pretend I’m a sophisticated foodie, I love, love, love mac and cheese. Haven’t ever tried the egg angle, but it works for carbonara, so why not here…excited to give this a go!

  • Deeli

    This sounds delicious, Des! Going to give it a try but switch out the pepper jack with smoked gouda – Yum!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    What an awesome marriage of flavors! I’m definitely bookmarking this, and when I make it, I will eat every last bit of pasta piece – no sharing on this one!

  • http://thespicedlife.com/ Laura

    Looks awesome; pinned!

  • http://lunarcalypso.blogspot.com/ Luna

    I made this, just with a “regular” mac & cheese as the base for the roasted garlic instead of adding the egg. It was amazing mac & cheese, but the garlic flavor got kind of lost. It’s amazing that a whole head of garlic can almost disappear. It was really really good, just more subtle than I was expecting. I still love the idea and may just try it with more garlic…?

  • http://passthecocoa.blogspot.com Monica

    Yummmmm, this looks so delicious.

  • Lindsay @ the Live-In Kitchen

    What a great flavor combo!

A little bit about me...

My name is Des. I’m a Mom to Kellan and Preston. Wife to Ryan. Dog mom to Pumpkin and lover of all things food. Whether it is cooking it, eating it, shopping for it or watching TV about it, food is one of my favorite things. Read more »

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