Being a suburban Detroiter, we decided to venture out to try some for ourselves. Alas, it seems there are several Detroit-area “Triple D” fans who had the same idea: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/customers-flock-to-clarkston-eateries-following-food-network-showcase-20111214.
Instead of enduring the long wait at the restaurant, I decided to replay the episode and make my own rendition based on the description provided during the show. I’m not entirely sure how it compares to the original, but it is quite good nonetheless. Enjoy!
Step 1: What you'll need:
2 cups lowfat milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. each salt and pepper (more or less to taste)
1.5 cups (more or less) half & half
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour (not pictured)
2-3 cloves pureed garlic
1 small onion, thinly sliced
0.4 lb. (approx. 2 cups) shredded parmesan cheese
12-16 thin slices Pinconning cheese (or extra sharp cheddar cheese, for those of you not in close proximity to Pinconning, Michigan)
1 ½ cups (more or less) shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
½ cup (more or less) Panko crumbs (not pictured)
Step 2: Pasta
Step 3: Wet stuff
Step 4: Rue!
Step 5: Rue + wet stuff + parmesan cheese = a cure for Detroit's pothole problem
Add the parmesan cheese, and continue stirring to melt the cheese into the milk mixture. Once the cheese is melted, allow this mixture to cool as well.
Step 6: Build it up
Place the cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk/cheese mixture, one scoop at a time, and mix with your hands (a spoon will also do). Add half & half as necessary to help mix the cheese mixture into the pasta.
Place a layer of the pasta mixture in the bottom of an oven-safe bowl or casserole dish. Place slices of the Pinconning cheese on top of the pasta and cheese mixture, then cover the Pinconning cheese with more pasta and cheese. Top with a generous sprinkle of the sharp white cheddar cheese, and then top the white cheddar cheese with the Panko crumbs.
Step 7: Cook and enjoy!
Allow to cool and enjoy!
A few notes:
(1) this recipe produces a fairly dry mac & cheese. For those who prefer a creamier mac & cheese, consider adding more milk.
(2) The cooking times were the ones prescribed in the TV program. When I did this, it did not produce the thick brown layer on top. Consider cooking at a slightly lower temperature for a bit longer, followed by turning on the broiler for a few minutes if you would like to recreate the crust shown on the TV program.
(3) This makes for great leftovers! Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to the mac & cheese and microwave until warm.