Gruyère, named after the Swiss district of Gruyère, is a lovely, hard cow's milk cheese known the world over for its seductively melty personality. Luscious and smooth, Gruyère is often paired with Emmentaler to make what can only be described as a superlative fondue.
With Gruyère and Emmentaler intertwined in a heady embrace, we toss Black Forest ham into the mix, making for a sultry ménage à trois of flavor and texture. Topped with chunky cubed sourdough for crunch, this dish is plain delicious.
Reprinted with permission from 'Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese' by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. Copyright 2013. Published by Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 10 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 10 ounces Gruyère, shredded
- 8 ounces Emmentaler, shredded
- 8 ounces Black Forest ham, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups sourdough bread cubes, each about ½ inch square, crust on
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through a colander and set aside.
To prepare the mornay sauce, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium flame. Add the flour and stir with a flat-edge wooden paddle just until the roux begins to take on a light brown color, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon—a finger drawn along the back of the spoon should leave a clear swath. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Add mustard and cheese to sauce, stirring until completely melted.
Pour pasta into greased baking dish and toss with ham. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the pasta and stir gently to incorporate into the ham and noodles. Top liberally with bread cubes, slide into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.