Mac and Cheese Canapés
Makes 24 servings. Recipe is by Peter Callahan, New York City.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
11/4 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Cotswold cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
24 edible flower leaves, for serving (optional; nasturtium leaves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. To make Parmesan Cups: Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with pan spray and then add 1 teaspoon of the grated parmesan, using the back of the spoon to spread the cheee mound into the size of a silver dollar. Repeat twice so you have 3 cheese rounds cooking at once.
2. Once the cheese is golden, after about 2 minutes, use a small spatula to carefully flip it over. Cook the other side until golden, about 20 to 30 seconds, and then immediately transfer the rounds to a 1-inch tart pan. Press a second tart pan on top of the first to mold the cheese rounds into the tart shape. Cool for a few minutes, then lift off the top pan, remove the Parmesan cup and set aside. Repeat, making cheese cups until you have 24.
3. To make macaroni: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and macaroni and return to a boil. Cook, following the package instructions, until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.
4. While the macaroni is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Pour the cream into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat (be careful so the cream doesn’t bubble up and out of the saucepan) until it is reduced by half, 30 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar, Cotswold and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses; whisk until the sauce is completely smooth. Stir in the cooking macaroni and remove from the heat.
5. To serve: If you are using them, arrange the nasturtium leaves on a platter. Portion 1 generous tablespoon of the macaroni and cheese into each Parmesan cup, sprinkle with parsley, place on the leaves, and serve.
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