Crave Shiitake Mac & Cheese

KCTS 9 Cooks A to Z

Presented By: Chef Robin Leventhal | Crave Restaurant, Seattle

serves 6  to 8

Ingredients for Mornay Sauce

  • 1/2 yellow onion or shallot, finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1-1/2 pounds grated fontina and sharp cheddar cheese, mixed
  • kosher salt to taste


  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pound shell pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 cold Braeburn apple, thinly sliced and fanned


Sweat onions in butter. Blend spices with flour. Add spices, garlic and flour; whisk until incorporated. Do not brown the flour.

Slowly whisk in milk and let cook for at least 20 minutes. Next, slowly add cheese by the handful, constantly whisking. After all the cheese is incorporated, adjust seasoning.

Brown 1/4 cup butter, and sauté shiitakes with any herbs of your choice (I recommend rosemary). Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of milk or cream and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add Mornay to the pan to warm up. Toss with cooked shells and place in ramekins.

The consistency should be goopy looking, not dry or clumpy. If you see distinct pasta pieces and it’s not oozing, it lacks love!

Top with a dusting of bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbling and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh sliced apple fam and smoked paprika.



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I don't know what I did wrong. My husband thought to make a roux, one uses equal parts fat and flour so this didn't look right but we did it anyway. The roux never thickened. We added the cheese and then the pasta, then the cheese coagulated in clumps and was a mess. If anyone else made this and it turned out, please let me know what I did wrong!


Hi Guest,
If you haven't already, you can watch the chef at Crave make it here:
Perhaps that will provide some insight? Best of luck.
KCTS 9 Staff

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