Mac & Cheese Chowder – Week 49: Seashore
Ah, the seashore — with its sights, sounds and salty air! And what could be better than a dockside chowder served with fresh clams?
This week’s theme inspired me to create a macaroni and cheese based on this classic New England comfort food. A creamy, flavourful chowder with corn kernels to remind us of summer, cooked au gratin with 1-year-old cheddar and garnished with crispy bacon.
And how about trying fresh clams cooked your favourite way (smoked, steamed, or fried), topped with Agropur Grand Cheddar aged 1 year and cooked under the grill?
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a pot, melt the butter and soften the leeks for 3 to 4 minutes. Season.
- Add the flour and stir 1 minute, making sure the flour doesn’t brown. Gradually add the milk and cream, beating with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce.
- Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until sauce thickens.
- Mix 2 cups (500 ml) of the cheddar, pasta and corn into the sauce.
- Pour into an ovenproof dish.
- Top with the bacon and the rest of the cheeses, and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and butter together. Garnish the clams with cheese and buttered breadcrumbs. Cook under the grill until the cheese is golden and serve atop the macaroni.