Friday, January 27, 2012

My Favorite Mac and Cheese

I've made my fair share of macaroni and cheese recipes. My mother always just winged it and it worked but not so much for me. My father prefers Velveeta. I now prefer this!

This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe and I will use this from now on. I will post the original recipe which I halved. It seems like you are buying a ton of expensive cheese but that cheese lasted me a batch of this plus I used it in multiple other dishes. By halving the recipe I made four of these little ramekins. Abe and I can eat one ramekin between the two of us as long as we have sides like salad or fruit.

My Favorite Mac and Cheese
Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 8 servings

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
5 cups whole milk 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces) 
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces) 
1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese (4 ounces) 
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 pound elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 10 mini (1 cup) pie plates or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and transfer pasta to cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Divide mixture among mini pie plates or transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup fontina over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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