Apple Mac & Cheese with Bratwurst
This is a great recipe that I discovered thanks to Rachael Ray. Apple Mac & Cheese combines the delicious flavor of a Apple Pie combined with creamy Macaroni & Cheese. Add some Bratwursts and Sauerkraut and you have a tasty meal your whole family will enjoy!
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 small crisp apples or 2 medium-large, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
About 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove or pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or smoked cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cider
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups half 'n' half
Salt and white pepper or fine black pepper
1 pound macaroni or short-cut pasta of choice
3 cups grated cheddar, white or yellow
1 1/2 cups crushed white or yellow cheddar crackers
One handful parsley, chopped
About 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat a large pot of water for the pasta to boil. Preheat oven to 400˚F with rack at center.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with butter, add onions, apples and bay, season with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, zest, thyme and brown sugar, soften 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle flour over top and stir a minute, whisk in cider, stock and half and half, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a bubble and thicken sauce to coat back of spoon in thin layer, 6 to 7 minutes at low bubble over medium-low simmer.
Cook pasta in salted water about 6 minutes, then drain. Stir cheese into sauce a few handfuls at a time. Mix pasta with sauce and apples and place in casserole dish.
Combine cracker crumbs with parsley and and top pasta. Add some Parmesan cheese. Brown and bubble, let cool for 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Watch my video below where I show you how to cook this recipe step by step.