Chef John Tesar is a three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant who specializes in modern American cuisines prepared with authentic European techniques.
Eye Opener’s Oliver Tull met up with Tesar at his home to prepare a decadent macaroni and cheese dish.
First Tesar creates a creamy béchamel sauce. Béchamel is made up of butter and flour which you use to create a blond rux. Tesar then takes cream or heavy milk to thicken the sauce. After the sauce thickens he adds salt, green tabasco and large amounts of cheese.
Once the sauce has thickens pour it into a hot skillet. Immediately add your cooked elbow macaroni. Add white cheddar (Tesar uses Vermont white cheddar) and sharp cheddar (Tesar uses sharp New York). Stir the noodles and sauce until every noodle is covered.
Pour the noodle and sauce mixture into a cast iron pan. Sprinkle the top with cheese and bread crumbs. Last, sprinkle olive oil over the dish so the bread crumbs don’t burn.
Put the cast iron pan in the oven for five minutes and then serve piping hot.
For more recipes or to learn more about Tesar visit his website.