Since this is Top Chef month on my blog, I decided to consult my newly acquired--thanks to a Twitter contest--How To Cook Like a Top Chef cookbook for a lunchtime recipe. Most of the entree dishes seem more suitable for dinner, but mac n cheese is good any time. Update since original post date: find this recipe HERE!
To start, I made a few modifications (which are different from "substitutions"). The first thing I did was omit the protein, because this recipe called for shrimp. No one in this house cares very much for shrimp, and I'm not savvy enough to start subbing proteins at will, I decided this recipe was better sans meat. The second change I made was to the cheese. I used Jarlsberg instead of Swiss. The last modification was that I used half an onion instead of a whole and 3 normal-sized carrots instead of 3 large carrots. I also used slightly less mushrooms.
The other ingredients in this version of mac n cheese are elbow pasta--duh--heavy cream, Half n Half, egg yokes and parsley.
About these changes: I shouldn't have skimped on the veggies. They're there for a reason and definitely enhance the dish. And while this dish is great without protein, I think bacon or prosciutto would've been the perfect meat addition, especially since the recipe calls for salt "to taste" and I was a little conservative.
Overall, this was a success. One noticeable...issue was that the cream-egg yoke mixture didn't bubble at after around 30 minutes in the oven. It browned after 22. So..not sure if my oven is a little hot, or if something just wasn't quite right.
I encourage you to try this recipe. It's good. Two other people agree with me, too. All 3 of us, though, said it needs "something". I'm sure it was the proper amount of vegetables (or maybe the meat), but you should definitely judge for yourself.