Michael Kalish’s Mac ‘n Cheese: Food Trends

ON THE MENU: Roasted Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Michael Kalish

What better way to relieve stress from finals with some Mac’ N’ Cheese! Our latest cooking class at Lowell High School featured Cheese expert and 1/2 of the Cheese Twins, Chef Michael Kalish. In our class, we talked about food trends and learned how to make a creamy-delicious Mornay sauce for our Mac’n’🧀 !

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About Michael

Michael Kalish began his food career in commercial beekeeping in Santa Barbara County and got his first taste of wine and cheese as a cheesemonger and crush assistant in Healdsburg, California. Michael went on to work on a dozen dairy farms across France, Switzerland and Italy. He was the first American to receive formal training in dairy and meat processing in the Piedmont, Italy, at l’istituto Lattiero Caseario, and has worked for some of Europe’s finest artisan cheese makers and affineurs (professional cheese agers) including Mons, Fromager et Affineur (FR) and Luigi Guffanti (IT). In the USA, Michael managed operations for Artisanal Premium Cheese in NYC and taught affinage and cheesemaking workshops United State and Australia. Along with his twin brother, Charlie, he is a winner of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race (Series 7) and a Chopped finalist (Episode: Twins for the Win). Today, Michael is an accomplished, international cheese consultant, brand ambassador and TV personality.

 

Recipe (serves about 5-10 people)

Mise en place

  • 1 head, Cauliflower
  • 1 TBS, Olive Oil

Mornay Sauce

  • 3 TBS, unsalted butter
  • 3 TBS, all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups, whole milk
  • 1 cup, Nicasio Square Cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Pasta and Garnish

  • 1 cup, Cheddar
  • 500g, “Elbow” pasta
  • ½ cup bread crumbs

 

Cauliflower and Cheese Prep

  1. Chop cauliflower into florets. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on baking sheet. Roast at 450 deg F for ~20 minutes, until browned.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Set aside.
  3. Chop Nicasio Square cheese (for mornay sauce) and cheddar (for top of mac n cheese). Set aside.

Pasta Prep

  1. Boil pasta shells until al dente. Pull pasta from heat and drain. Toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.

Mornay sauce

  1. Warm milk in medium-sized pot, stirring occasionally
  2. Place butter in a separate pot and melt. Whisk in flour until homogenous. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in milk, little by little, until smooth and creamy.
  3. Whisk in nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
  4. Add chopped Nicasio Square cheese and whisk until completely incorporated. Set aside.

Mac & Cheese

  1. Mix cauliflower, pasta and mornay sauce. Top with grated cheddar and bread crumbs.
  2. Bake at 350 deg F (about 30 mins). FInish on broil for 1-2 mins, until golden brown.

 

For more insights, recipes, and tips from cheese experts from the Kalish brothers, follow their story on their site, Cheesetwins.com or check out their instagram,@thecheesetwins!

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