Macaroni & Cheese – Martha vs. The Social

March 27 2005 - 10:26 PM

My wife is on a kick. We ate Mac and Cheese twice this weekend, going to lengths to do so at that. Heading up to Milwaukee for Easter allowed the opportunity to hit The Social, 434 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee – where they do a memorable mac and cheese. A rosmary chicken in creamy goat’s cheese type of Mac & Cheese.

As they say, the memory is always better and sure enough this time it sort of reminded us of rosemary chicken tetrazini. It wasn’t as good as we remembered it. The roasted chicken didn’t carry the rosemary instead it was super-rosy integrated into the entire dish.

For comparison’s sake we put Martha’s Mac and Cheese together Sunday night and while I thought it on par inflatable water slide with The Social’s, it lacked the oomph from a previous attempt. It was pretty bland as per the directions. I’d tend in the future to add more nutmeg, salt and cayanne to taste and then it should edge out Milwaukee’s best…

I made a modified Social mac and cheese. I stuffed a 3.5 pound bird with rosemary and garlic cloves and gave the outside an olive oil rub. I roasted it for an hour at 425º that I think I should have ramped down. Zapping it at 450º for 10 minutes first and 375º for the rest until done. It would have saved some oven spatter as well.

For the sauce I cheated and added 6oz of goats, 1 cup each of stock/cream then added just a touch of corn starch to thicken… not that it really needed it. The rosemary oil is kind of lame. I would add several sprigs during the cooking and remove them before serving… making sure rosemary leaves didn’t scatter all over.

Something to keep in mind is that the goat’s cheese you reserve to top the dish is the cheese you really notice. I’d love to change this one around to include morels and do a mac and mushroom with goats on top. But anyway…

The Social Macaroni and Cheese
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Nicholas Burki, executive chef and general manager, sent the recipe.

Martha’s Mac and Cheese