It takes only a bite to realize that there must be a secret ingredient in that macaroni and cheese so many people order at the House on Melrose Avenue.
The dish is as rich and creamy as it should be, but it's also perfectly balanced with a surprising little tang. And the sauce is just thick enough to evenly coat the pasta, but not so thick it forms gluey clumps.
The secret? Goat's milk Cheddar.
We followed chef Scooter Kanfer's recipe using the sharp goat's milk Cheddar made by Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma County. It's a pale ivory cheese made from raw milk and aged at least six months. The texture was so creamy it almost seemed a little wet. It melted extremely well, and had a distinct goat's milk flavor.
Besides making an excellent mac and cheese, it would be ideal for grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, crostini and salads. Or just appreciate it simply, at the end of a meal with fresh fruit.
The cheese is sold at the Redwood Hill Farm stand at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market for $9.90 a pound; at the Winchester Cheese stand at the Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Sunday Santa Monica farmers markets for the same price; and at Whole Foods markets for $19.99 a pound. It can be ordered online at www. redwoodhill.com.