A Classic for Jasey Jay Anderson

Like Clara Hughes, Jasey Jay Anderson is a veteran of the Canadian Olympic team competing in the games for the last time. However, unlike Hughes, Anderson had never stood on the podium before February 27, at which time he stood at the very top.

With a nickname like "old man", how could I resist giving him a classic dish? Below you will find my take on good old-fashioned macaroni and cheese (sorry, no vegan option on this one). I have to admit that cheese remains one of my primary vices. Fortunately, I can put it to good use with recipes like this, a version of the dish everyone's mom used to make which emphasizes the complexity of a good, sharp mouthful of cheese. My mac and cheese contains more cheese than most, almost imitating a fondue. The wine helps to set off the cheeses, each of which has a distinct type of sharpness. If you don't have all 3 kinds of cheese, you can substitute. However, it's very important that you use a cheese which melts well and has a nice pungency. If it doesn't offend the palate, try a little blue cheese, like a stilton. Conversely, you can also do this with nothing but a good, strong cheddar. However, make sure that you don't keep the finished sauce on the heat for too long, since it makes the cheese go chalky.

Jasey Jay's Mac 'n Cheese

2 cups milk (use 2% or whole)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups grated extra old cheddar
1 cup grated emmental
1 1/2 cups grated provolone
1/4 cup white wine
400 gm. (about a pound) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained (or any small pasta, like shells or orchiete)

Makes about 8 healthy portions

1) Melt the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium-low heat and add the flour. Cook until the flour begins to change colour and add the wine, whisking aggressively. The mixture will turn into a paste.

2) Add half of the milk, whisk to lift any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat, and smooth with a hand blender. Return to the heat, continuing to whisk, and add the rest of the milk.

3) Once it begins to visibly thicken, add about 1/3 of the cheese. Whisk until the cheese melts, and repeat for the other 2/3 of the cheese. Once the cheese is all melted into the sauce, remove the pan from the heat and correct for salt and pepper.

4) Either serve poured over the pasta, tossed together with it, or else combined in a classic casserole topped with bread crumbs.

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