June 26, 2009

Yummy@Home Macaroni and Cheese

macaroni and cheese
Since it was a rainy night we decided to make mac'n'cheese!

It's funny - when I was little I really didn't like mac'n'cheese - and I know everyone has childhood memories attached to kraft mac'n'cheese, but I really didn't like it.

I think it's that to this day I for some reason have a weird aversion to orange cheese...

However, ever since mac'n'cheese began popping up on menus around town, I've become a huge fan!  My two favorites are Five Points and Hudson Cafeteria - but each one sets you back anywhere from $10 - $18 bucks (in the case of Hudson).   Even S'Mac isn't thaaat cheap - plus sometimes it can be burnt.

Tonight we went with an aged cheddar + gruyere version.

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Step 1 - Cook the macaroni. (elbow macaroni works the best)
  • This is pretty obvious - cook it just like pasta - boil with salt and some vegetable oil.
Step 2 - Make the Cheesy Sauce!
  • While you are waiting for the water to boil - start on the sauce.
  • Grate one block of sharp cheddar and one block of gruyere - basically we bough two squares from Whole Foods.  I think around 1/2 pound each - doesn't have to be precise...if you like it cheesier do more!
  • Heat up 1 quart of milk (whole, or we used non-fat and it came out great too) - Be careful not to let it boil - I kept it on medium heat
  • Melt one stick of unsalted butter in a large pot.
  • Add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk on low heat for a couple minutes
  • Add the heated milk and whisk until thick and creamy (couple minutes)
  • Take off heat and add the shredded cheese, one tablespoon of salt, pepper and nutmeg (could substitute paprika if you want)
Step 3 - Bake it!
  • Toast bits of white bread on a pan with melted butter
  • Pour the macaroni into baking dishes and sprinkle the bread crumbs
  • Toss on some thyme or rosemary
  • Bake for approximate 30 minutes
Serve with a side of chorizo and caramelized onions!

Perfect for a cold winter night...or in our case a warm summer rainy night! Also might be a good dish to bring to a dinner party.  After all - everyone loves mac'n'cheese right?

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