Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not your Mama's Macaroni and Cheese

I don't know about you, but my mom rarely made me boxed macaroni and cheese. She ALWAYS made this grainy from scratch macaroni and cheese with slices of tomato on top. Let's just say, it wasn't one of my favorite dishes; especially if she made it with a side of brussel sprouts.

When I was in college I found a Martha Stewart recipe called Macaroni and Cheese 101. This is my favorite macaroni cheese recipe ever! It uses a sharp white cheddar and gruyere cheeses. I didn't even know what gruyere cheese was when I was growing up. I'm sure if I did I would have hated it. I was a really picky eater as a child.

This is a special recipe I don't make very part because it will clog your arteries...and in part because it will kill you. :) The original recipe calls for butter toasted bread crumbs on top, but I have made the topping with this recipe. I try to tell myself that it is healthier without the saves me two tablespoons of butter. I've included the recipe as I made it...without the butter toasted bread crumbs. I also halved the recipe because the original make enough for 12 servings. It was just Alex and I tonight and I didn't want that many left overs.

Macaroni and Cheese 101:
6 tablespoons butter
2 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for water
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 1/4 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup gruyere cheese grated
1/2 lb elbow macaroni - I usually like to add more, otherwise it is a little soupy.
Preheat oven to 375 F.

Warm the milk in an oven safe casserole dish on medium heat. Melt butter in a small frying pan. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook stirring 1 minute.

While whisking the milk, slowly at the butter/flour mixture a little at a time to keep the mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 8-12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cheddar and gruyere cheeses.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, and add the macaroni. Cook until the outside of the pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce in the casserole dish. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.I cooked up the macaroni and added it to the cheese mixture and realized my macaroni was swimming in my cheese sauce. I searched the pantry for additional elbow macaroni and all I could find was actual boxed macaroni and cheese. How is that for irony?


Gunnisac Sandersons said...

I love making homemade mac and cheese. I'm going to try your receipe. I'll let you know how it goes with the kiddo's.

Megan said...

Are we kin sisters seperated at birth? I find myself in all your posts! We both have a mac and cheese recipe with the same title, the eberskiver pan, the peach jam, and I love paninis!!! Not to mention the pumpkin cake. Thats real similar to a WW recipe I use. We must be related. :)