Ode to the Mac & Cheese

March 8, 2011

Hey it Dr. Pepper,

“Oh good ol’ mac and cheese what would we do without thee. Thine carbs are plentiful, and thine cheese is a taste I shall never forget. Many times have I held thee in my fork, and tastes the wondrous flavor thou hast provided me time after time. Oh great American staple you are, for many have gazed upon your noble continence, and smelled thine earthy aroma. Great mac and cheese I will never forget thee as long as I live, and I shall mourn till the next time we meet again. Oh great mac and cheese.”-(Darius Knott) As you can see, macaroni and cheese is a dish which many people across the country enjoy (some enough to write an ode). My family in particular is especially fond of the dish and we eat all different variations. From three cheese mac, to the microwavable kind when we’re in a pinch, we just like the stuff. This especially is true for my little brother Tim, who is the number one pasta eater in our house and will eat anything with pasta in it. He was extra excited when I told him I was going to be making Baked Macaroni and Cheese. My whole family loved it, especially Tim, and finished the whole dish in two days. Now I’m going to teach you how to make it.

1. Heat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a 3 quart casserole dish.

2. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt the last 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour.  Stir 1 minute.

3. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone.  Transfer the macaroni to a colander and rinse under cold running water, and drain well.

6.  Stir macaroni into the  cheese sauce.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes and serve!!!!!



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