Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mac and Cheese

There are a trillion and one recipes for mac and cheese online. My sister, Willow, wanted to learn how to make mac and cheese from scratch so we took the opportunity to make it together for Easter dinner.

It turned out awesome!

Macaroni and Cheese

1 box whole wheat pasta (something with ridges to hold onto the sauce)
3 Tblsp butter
3 Tblsp all purpose flour
3 cups cold milk
3 oz shredded cheese (sharp cheddar works awesome)
1/2 tsp or so of dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

If you like a crusty top, you can sprinkle on a mixture of breadcrumbs (we used Panko) and Parmesan.

Put a large pot of water on to boil, salt the water, and cook the pasta until just shy of done (if you're going to be baking it to crust up the top, the pasta will continue to cook...if you're just going to mix and serve, cook the pasta to the point you like it).

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and whisk. Cook, whisking, until roux takes on a light golden colour.

Add milk, a bit at a time, whisking after every addition, to make sure you don't end up with big lumpy clumps. Once you get your first cup of milk in, it should be smooth enough to just dump the other 2 cups in.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sauce is thickened (it will coat the back of a spoon and when you swipe your finger across the back of the spoon, it will leave a clean line). Remove from heat, and add the cheese by the handful, stirring to melt. Season with mustard powder, salt and pepper and taste.

If it's not cheesy enough, add more cheese!

Drain pasta when it's done (don't rinse!) and mix in cheese sauce.

If you're going to finish it off in the oven, preheat to 350, and dump into casserole. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture and bake until top is golden brown and crispy.


La Tomate said...

hhhmmmm.... Macca cheese...
I always make it from scratch - you can cheat a little by not making a roux but a cornflour/starch slurry with milk and adding it to the milk. It's quicker ;-)
Sometimes I "deluxe it up" by adding sliced boiled egg, diced tomatoes sans seeds, cubes of ham, and/or broccoli/caufilower - then I don't feel so bad about pigging out on a whole bowl full :-) and then have leftovers warmed up and over a slice of buttered toast for lunch.

Jacy said...

I've never thought about using a slurry instead. Does it taste the same?

Rachel Ray has a whole ton of combos. My fave is the cheeseburger mac. It's mini meatballs with ketchup and mustard. So good!