After a taxing day on the ski slopes, many Europeans relax with warm drinks and fondue at the lodge. But you don’t have to travel far to bring that Alpine vibe to your own kitchen. This macaroni and cheese recipe is all about the molten Gruyère by the scoop, balanced by slices of fresh green apple.
- 1½ pounds Gruyère, grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 apple, cored and sliced
- Panko bread crumbs (optional)
Heat oven to 400°F. Fold garlic into butter in bowl. Grease casserole pan or baking dish with butter-garlic mixture.
Toss cornstarch with 1 pound Gruyère. Set aside. Bring pot of water to boil, and add salt. Boil macaroni for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Dunk pasta in cold water to shock, and let drain.
In same pot, warm wine over medium-low heat. One handful at a time, whisk in cheese until melted. Add pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cooked pasta. Transfer pasta mixture into buttered dish, and top with remaining cheese. If using bread crumbs, add atop and dot with extra garlic butter.
Cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese bubbles. Remove foil, and bake 5 minutes until crisp. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve alongside sliced apples. Serves 4.
Domaine de Montmollin 2016 Chasselas (Neuchâtel); $32, 90 points. This straw colored wine has aromas of lemon rind, lime and citrus blossom. The palate is round in feel, with flavors of lemon zest and green apple that lead to a pleasantly crisp finish. —Jeff Jensen
Erste Neue 2017 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $18, 90 points. This wine’s floral and fruity honeysuckle, citrus and green apple aromas practically jump out of the glass. The juicy, medium-bodied palate doles out ripe Granny Smith apple, Bartlett pear and tangerine flavors, alongside a hint of crushed stone. Tangy acidity lifts the rich flavors. —Kerin O’Keefe