Monday, April 13, 2009

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

This past weekend our friends Stephen and Becky came up to hang out, have dinner, listen to music and play Yahtzee and Uno Attack.  For dinner we smoked a chicken (Brian will have to post about that recipe because it was awesome!), made mac and cheese and cherry-pineapple cobbler for dessert.  Stephen and Becky brought over plenty of snacks and a side of veggies that we cooked on the grill.  Their roasted veggie recipe can be found on their blog  All the food was great and so was the company.

Here is the recipe for the mac and cheese.  I thought the recipe was good, and I will probably make it again, but I may switch it up and use half white cheddar and half yellow cheddar.  I think the white cheddar is good, but it is almost too creamy, so adding the yellow cheddar in will probably give it a better texture in my opinion.  I will let you know when I try it.  This recipe came from Martha Stewart's website.

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

6 slices good quality white bread
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

1.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.  Place bread pieces in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 T butter.  Pour butter into the bowl with the bread and toss.  Set the breadcrumbs aside.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk.  Melt remaining 6 T butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat.  When butter bubbles, add flour.  Cook, stirring 1 minute.

2.  Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking.  Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

3.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano.  Set cheese sauce aside.

4.  Fill a large saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil.  Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes fewer than manufacturer's directions, until outside of the pasta is cooked and inside is underdone.  Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain well.  Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top.  Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes.  Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

1 comment:

  1. I always add cream cheese to my boxed macaroni and cheese and it is delicious and creamy. I don't think there is such a thing as "too creamy" macaroni and cheese! If I ever get a chance to cook dinner (like if Chris is sick or breaks his leg and can't get to the kitchen) then I will have to try out this recipe!