These were a last minute addition to my lineup. How last minute? I ran to the store the morning of the baby shower to buy a few ingredients.
Aside from my contributions, we had a lovely curry chicken salad made by the mother to be’s grandmother, fruit supplied by her mother, and two types of sandwiches made by the grandmother. However, she’d made them two days in advance! My mother-in-law and I were concerned that it was too soon and they might be soggy.
So I decided to make these- a double batch so that I could make 48 for the party no matter what, and another 48 if the sandwiches weren’t edible. Thanks to my mom, for emailing this the night before!
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (or small shells)
1 1/2 TBS. butter, plus more for greasing pans
1/4 cup cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 TBS. all-purpose flour
3/4 cups milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 ounces blue cheese
2 ounces gruyere, crated
1 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
Grease mini-muffin pans. Sprinkle with half the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes- it will make a nice light golden roux/paste. Whisk in the milk and cook, until boiling, about 5 minutes- whisk the entire time to make sure that you get all the lumps out, and the sauce thickens nicely. Add the cheddar, gruyere, and blue cheeses and whisk until melted (the blue cheese will be a little lumpy, that’s fine). Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top.
Bake in the middle or upper portion of the oven for about 10 minutes until golden and bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, loosen the mini-macs and transfer to a platter and serve.
This is great for parties- you can actually fill the mini muffin tins and hold off on baking until right before you’re ready to serve them.
Final thoughts- the original recipe calls for American cheese (not Gruyere) which likely acts as a bit more of a glue for the cups. Mine weren’t as solid as I would have liked.