3.14.2011

Ooey, Gooey Mac & Cheese


Macaroni and Cheese is one of those dishes that no matter what age you are you cannot help but love it!  It is a dish that always brings a certain type of comfort and the essence of home no matter where you are or what is going on in your life. Children and adults, alike, always want that "blue box", and Kraft prides itself that it is "the cheesiest macaroni and cheese dinner". Throughout my college years, I consumed quite a large amount of the "blue box". It is the perfect meal or snack when you are low on cash or have that frequent late night craving. With that being said, I was determined to finally make my own macaroni and cheese from scratch.This mac & cheese is perfection with its crispy top and ooey, gooey center. After eating this you might give up the blue box for good!

Sourced from Ezra Pound Cake

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan or Gruyere
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Set a baking rack in the top-third of the oven
  • Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish (or an 8″-by-8″ baking dish) and set aside
  • Combine the cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gruyere cheeses in a medium bowl
  • Transfer 1 cup of cheese to a small bowl; reserve for topping
  • In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat
  • In a Dutch oven or saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter
  • Add flour immediately; whisk to combine for about 1 minute
  • Raise the temperature to medium, and slowly whisk in the milk
  • Bring it to a boil to thicken, whisking the entire time
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard, salt, garlic, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and the 2 cups of mixed cheeses (from the larger bowl)
  • Set the cheese sauce aside
  • Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring it to a boil over high heat
  • Add macaroni and return the water to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Drain well, and add pasta to the cheese sauce
  • Stir to combine and taste, adjust the seasonings, and add hot sauce, if you wish.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish
  • Top with reserved cheese, and bake in the top-third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly, but the inside is still creamy

Serves 6 as a side
Happy Feasting!

2 comments:

jennaseverythingblog said...

Oh yum! I adore mac and cheese, and have had my share of the blue box as well. =) I've been trying to find the 'perfect' recipe for it (I've had many dismal failures!) and your recipe looks fabulous. Mmmmmm.

Kate said...

Jenna! I adore mac & cheese as well and I had my fair share of failures before finding this gem. I think you will love it too!