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MAC AND CHEESE EGGS BENNY

Serves 4

This recipe was created as a bit of a happy accident, when on a whim we combined leftover mac and cheese on toast with poached eggs . . . as boys do, duh. Sounds crazy, we know, but it was actually a pretty incredible mashup. Separately, these are all good things. But together? Pure magic, friends!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1½ cups shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp ground smoked chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 cup dried macaroni
  • 1 tsp white vinegar 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Classic 30-Second Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup red lettuce, sliced

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk together for 2 minutes, or until a smooth paste has formed and the flour has cooked. Slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture has thickened (see Tip, page 60). Once the mixture can coat the back of a spoon, add shredded cheese in handfuls, stirring constantly until smooth. Add chipotle and black pepper. Taste, and season with salt, as needed.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 tbsp of the starchy water. Add pasta and reserved starchy water to the sauce, and stir every- thing together. Set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to set or, for best results, cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat a dry frying pan on medium-high heat. Add about ½ cup mac and cheese per person, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until it begins to get crispy. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add vinegar. Crack eggs into separate small bowls, then carefully, one at a time, add to the simmering water. Cook for 3½ minutes. While eggs are cooking, toast the bread.
  4. Spread mayonnaise over each piece of toast. Top with lettuce, a few spoonfuls of the crispy mac and cheese, and finish with a poached egg. Serve immediately.
  5. Tips: When making the cheese sauce, be careful not to add the milk to the pan too fast; otherwise, the mixture will have to sit on the stove for at least 5 to 10 minutes to thicken while you stand there and whisk. Our method of slowly drizzling in the milk while whisking works to quickly thicken up the sauce, saving you time.
  6. Make the mac and cheese the night before to get a head start.