Thursday, January 29, 2009

mac n' cheese

so, one of my favorite dinners is what i like to call "soul food sunday" i've done this a few times a year since i lived in san francisco. i started it to have an excuse to eat pecan pie on a day besides thanksgiving. then i found a really great recipe for mac n' cheese on martha stewart and "sould food sunday" became a must. not to mention my playlist with some of my favorite music, including otis redding, marvin gaye, the supremes, sam cooke, smokey robinson, etc. etc.

back to the mac n' cheese... seriously, i am obsessed with this recipe. it's so good with the crunchy topping and two kinds of cheese and just plain deliciousness.

i'm gonna give the photo credit to my friend damian. he took these tuxturiffic photos. i'm in the background of this other picture working on the bread pudding which i will post later. i also made the obligatory pecan pie and some cornbread.

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
  5. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
  6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.


ajr said...

why would anyone want to miss out on such a great event.. cough...dick clark...cough

DC United said...

who knows?! (takes knife and plunges it into heart)

Carmina said...

Been looking another variation for this dish and finally found it, i'll try this one.