Variety keeps JCT Kitchen’s dish fresh

C.W. Cameron

JCT KITCHEN AND BAR

1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, 404-355-2252, www.jctkitchen.com

Q: I would love to get the recipe to the stovetop (i.e., not baked) macaroni and cheese at JCT Kitchen. It seems simple and yet tastes more sophisticated than any baked version I’ve had elsewhere. — Nels Peterson, Marietta

A: Chef Brian Horn says they’ve tried lots of macaroni and cheese recipes in the three years JCT Kitchen has been open.

They’ve made macaroni and cheese in a bechamel sauce with nutmeg and macaroni and cheese baked in crocks, but they discovered that this simple version is the one they’re happiest with.

The restaurant uses a sharp cheddar from Vermont’s Grafton Village Cheese Co., but Horn says any good sharp cheddar would do.

Some days they add a little Benton’s bacon to the mixture, rendering the bacon and then mixing the noodles in the pan with the bacon fat.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons salt

2 cups heavy cream, more if needed

2 cups grated sharp cheddar

Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Add macaroni and salt and cook just until the macaroni is done. Drain, then return macaroni to the pot and stir in cream and cheddar. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper. If you’re not serving right away, the macaroni will absorb the cream, so you’ll need to add more cream to thin it out to the right consistency. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 424 calories (percent of calories from fat, 55), 12 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 26 grams fat (16 grams saturated), 89 milligrams cholesterol, 1,454 milligrams sodium.