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Saturday’s mac and cheese fest in CdA is sold out, so you can make your own at home with these recipes from The S-R’s archives

January 15, 2019

Coeur d’Alene’s second annual Mac & Cheese Festival is Saturday.

Local chefs will compete for the Golden Noodle Award. And attendees will get to vote on their favorites for the People’s Choice Trophy as well as sample craft beers along with the fest’s signature menu item.

To help celebrate, we’re sharing a couple of favorite macaroni and cheese recipes from our archives.

Clover’s version famously features house-made spaetzle while Dorothy Dean’s mid-1970s “deluxe” version calls for sharp cheddar. (May we recommend Washington State University’s signature Cougar Gold?)

Saturday’s event, sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, runs from noon to 6 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center, 115 S. Second St. Tickets are sold out.

For more info, visit, www.coeurdalene.org/cda-events/ 2nd-annual-mac-cheese-festival.

Spaetzle Macaroni and Cheese

From Clover

These recipes came from Travis Dickinson, former executive chef at Clover and now co-owner at Cochinito in downtown Spokane. At the time this recipe originally ran, in January 2015, he said he preferred a blend of white cheddar, Gruyere, Kaseri and pecorino Romano cheeses, but said Parmesan and Swiss could be used, too.

If you don’t want to make spaetzle from scratch, you can use pre-cooked pasta instead. Dickinson recommended elbow macaroni.

3 ounces butter

3 cups cooked spaetzle (recipe below)

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 ounces sherry

12 ounces bechamel sauce (recipe below)

4 ounces grated cheese, plus for more topping

Combination of fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, mint and basil, to taste

Toasted bread crumbs, for topping

Micro greens, such as buckwheat sprouts, for garnish

Brown butter in a large saute pan. Add spaetzle and salt and pepper, then cook until spaetzle is lightly browned on all sides, letting the spaetzle sit in the saute pan without stirring too much so the dumplings “pick up the color” – but taking care not to burn them. Add sherry and cook until absorbed, then add bechamel sauce and cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, then add herbs and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Divide equally into four bowls and top with bread crumbs and more cheese, if desired. Broil in oven until bread crumbs are crispy and cheese is melted and browned. Garnish with micro greens.

Yield: 4 (6-ounce) servings

Spaetzle

From Clover

Salt, for water, plus more for seasoning, to taste

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

Pepper, to taste

Pinch nutmeg

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup buttermilk

Start a large pot of well-salted water and bring to a boil. In a stand mixer, with a paddle, whip flour, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk and buttermilk. With the stand mixer running, add the milk-and-egg mixture in a slow, steady stream and blend on medium speed. Mix until no clumps remain. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Using a spatula, press through a spaetzle maker, colander or perforated pan or spoon with holes that are about the diameter of a pencil, allowing dough to fall into the boiling water in oddly shaped drops. Cook until the spaetzle floats. Skim spaetzle into a bath of ice water. When cool, drain and allow to dry slightly before use.

Yield: 4 (6-ounce) servings

Bechamel Sauce

From Clover

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden and thick. Add the milk and salt, and return to a simmer while stirring. Cook until sauce is thick and flour taste is cooked out.

Yield: 2 cups

Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese

From the Dorothy Dean Homemaker Service, Series U-3, 1975-76

1 cup salad-size macaroni

2 eggs, separated

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon minced parsley, optional

Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain. Beat egg yolks slightly; stir in milk, butter, salt, pepper, cheese and cooked macaroni. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into macaroni mixture. Spoon into greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with parsley. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: 259 calories, 13.6 grams fat (7.8 grams saturated, 47 percent fat calories), 17 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 106 milligrams cholesterol, less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 634 milligrams sodium.

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