21 March, 2008

Not Your Ordinary Mac N Cheese J Alexander's - close to the recipe

6 cups chicken stock
2 cubes chicken base
2 cups (8 ounces) Cavatappi (also called cellentani or double elbows, is macaroni formed in a spiral tube shape with ridges)
3 tablespoons Pomace Olive Oil
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
3 tablespoons butter -- divided plus extra for greasing pan
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
3 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked pressed and sliced in small bite size pieces (reserve the fat)
1/2 onion -- minced and sauteed in bacon fat
2 cloves of garlic pressed and sauteed with onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Cholula
2 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2c Panko

Bring 6 cups chicken stock and 1 1/1 cubes chicken base to rolling boil in medium saucepan. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl, toss with Pomace Olive Oil and lemon. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir in onion, bay leaf, sugar and Tabasco. Simmer gently, stirring often, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. Stir in macaroni. Pour half of mixture into greased, deep 1 1/2-quart baking dish (or 3-4 ramekins) and sprinkle with half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and remaining cheese. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 cube chicken base in small skillet over medium heat. Add panko and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered panko and Reggiano Cheese over top of macaroni. Bake at 350: F. until panko is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is recipe is a well guarded secret. How did you get it? Never mind, I'm just glad you did!!!

JAMES DIXON said...

Thank you for this recipe!!!!!!! This is by far the best mac n cheese anywhere.
Jim

Tanya said...

You are welcome, I searched high and low for it! And it helps to know someone who works as a GM. I asked a few questions to check if the recipe I had was correct and had to modify it slightly from what I found to get it to their recipe.

Hope you enjoy! Bon Appetit!

Anonymous said...

You forgot the Reggiano-Parmesan cheese too, also their are no bay leaves used.

Eboni said...

I made this over the weekend & got rave reviews. It is VERY close to the recipe. The next time I make it though, I would probably cut the sugar in half & cut the olive oil by a third. I put the parmesan-reggiano in the middle & on top.

Nichole said...

this isn't the exact recipe. I dined there this past weekend and asked about some of the ingredients. they use garlic powder and onion powder, bacon, gruyere, and top with panko.

Tanya said...

I have added / adjusted to the recipe a little after speaking to my friend further on it.

I hope all have enjoyed! The recipe does list Reggiano cheese in it :) you must have missed it.. also it says in the recipe "remove bay leaf" ... it doesn't stay in it is for flavor.

Soapbox Cormack said...

Miss Tanya- I am trying this today for Thanksgiving. I hope you got it right! I'm counting on you. :)Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

I work there. It is not tobasco it is cholula. I hate their horrible treatment of employees so here's the secret. FYI the spinach dip "special cheese blend" is white velveeta. And the steak seasoning is mccormicks Montreal steak seasoning. also the secret of the carrot cake is dole pineapple juice. And the very best chocolate cake has canned hersheys syrup in it, but the fudge on top isnt, it is commercial canned sauce. What else... Hmmm... oh yeah! The white chocolate cheesecake is not made there. It's bought frozen. But the raspberry sauce is made fresh. For a replica don't cook the sauce! It's a coolis. And If you can't get enough of the special onion ring sauce, mix mayonnaise with chipotle peppers. Aaaaand the addictive honey mustard only has 4 ingredients- mayonnaise, honey, grey poupon, and paprika. P.S., marinate your chicken tenders in buttermilk and use a WET batter for the "lacing". Enjoy! Even though I am a disgruntled employee, the place does have great food and I would still reccommend eating it every day!

Tanya said...

... I would love the recipe for the carrot cake.. omg.. my boyfriend and I go there when he comes in from the UK every time just for that alone!!

thank you for the information on the other items, going to change Tabasco to Cholula now!

Adam said...

If someone could come up with their fresh her vinaigrette they would be my best friend!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been employed with J alexander's for almost a decade and while most of what anonymous said is correct, the white chocolate cheesecake is NOT bought frozen. It is absolutely made in house.

Anonymous said...

what about the recipe for the Orzo and Wild Rice salad...it is amazing!!

Anonymous said...

The recipe states when to add the cream but says nothing about including the sour cream and half-and-half. Do you just add it with the heavy cream?

Tanya said...

The real thing is always the best... as there is nothing like having someone else serve you. J's happens to be one of our favorite places to eat out. However, this is still our favorite version of their recipe and I'm happy to always share and modify as necessary.

Anonymous said...

Just had dinner at J. Alexanders. Mac & Cheese and Chicken Fingers..YUMMY. I will be trying this recipe for sure! Thanks Tanya, and to all the others who've donated. Glad I came across this website.

katie said...

Thanks for this recipe! I will definitely be trying it. J. Alexander's is my favorite restaurant, but I moved to CA where there unfortunately isn't one. Whenever I visit back home I'm there at least three times a week. I would be forever grateful if you (or anyone else reading this!) posted any other recipes that you come across, especially for the Fresh Herb Vinaigrette or the Israeli Couscous. Oh! Or their delicious White Bean Soup. Thank you very much!

Annie27 said...

FYI, the general concept of this recipe also works for Potatoes au gratin. I made it that way today, adding about 1/2 cup of Gia Russa Fried Peppers (with the oil drained off) and skipped the sugar. Wicked!

Anonymous said...

Hi T, the third ingredient in the recipe says "2 cups (8 ounces) Cavatappi ..." is it 2 cups OR 8 ounces? 2 cups equals 16 ounces.

Thanks for your reply. Hope to get it soon as I'm trying the recipe today for Thanksgiving! :)

Jose

An American in Sicily said...

I am a Michigan native with a serious addiction to J's Very Best Chocolate Cake. I moved to Italy 2 years ago, where there obviously is no J Alexander's, and so I have to take advantage when I go home to get my chocolate fix! Does anyone have this recipe??? It would be so nice to make it here...nothing comes close to that cake!

Tanya said...

Shred 8 oz of cheese.. you will get about 2 cups of it.

Add the creams is all of them for the other person who asked.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the mushroom soup from j alexanders? I can't find it anywhere!

Anonymous said...

i work there and in the kitchen it is tobasco sauce they use, not chulua what ever that is for the guests. this recipe is close, but you are missing a few things and added a few things like pomace olive oil and things like that.

dFawkes said...

this recipe does not show parmesan-reggiano. I read it 2-3 times it is not in there except for in the directions.

godfothr69 said...

I just ate at J Alexanders today, and there wasnt bacon in the Mac and Cheese that I ate.

Anonymous said...

j's changed their mac and cheese recipe after someone wrote to corperate complaining that they were vegetarians and the menu did not say it had bacon in it. you can ask them to add the bacon but they just crumble some on top..not quite the same. i am a chef there!

Anonymous said...

Can you verify the amount of pasta used in this recipe...2 cups or 8 ounces?

Anonymous said...

Where does the half & half and sour cream come in? Also, I don't recall any bacon. It is overwhelming, especially with the onions sauteed in the bacon grease.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say I make this recipe allllll the time and it gets better every time. The only thing I changed is not adding sour cream, I Think it tastes better that way. Thanks so much for the recipe love it!!!

Richard Gomes said...

It is a good recipe, but does not taste the same as what is at J. Alexander's Restaurant. It is missing something. I am going to experiment with it and post if I find what is missing.

Adriana said...

Back in the mid-2000's J Alexander's had an awesome citrus crusted salmon appetizer. It was not the smoked salmon dip, it was served as a whole piece of salmon. Can somebody provide the recipe?

Adriana said...

Please email me updates.