Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Home-made-iest

This blog really was supposed be about taste testing mac-n-cheese that OTHER people had made, a chance for two friends who have a shared low-brow passion to dig deep into the nouveau comfort food movement and report back. One of the reasons that we're friends, however, is that we're both active, passionate, engaged people. And have we actually gone out and, together, done any of the aforementioned tasting? No. Too busy. Sad sad sad.

That said, the world of mac-n-cheese waits for no one. I made a batch last night, a combination of 'ultimate pot luck' dish for a friend's birthday and comfort food for a neighbor who just suffered a second trimester miscarriage. I searched online for a good recipe (hello, Food Network-- if a mac-n-cheese recipe has more than 10 ingredients, you might be overthinking things). What I found will now enter my repertoire.

Also, what did we ever do before pre-shredded cheese? It's one of those stupid luxuries that I am such a fan of that I don't even think twice about forking over $3.00 for a two cup package.


Susanna's Favorite So Far Mac-n-Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 cups macaroni
2 cups whole milk (don't even think about shaving calories with 2%, 1% or, horrors, skim)
4 Tbs flour
4 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic
2 cups + grated sharp cheddar cheese
dry bread crumbs, soaked in melted butter

Cook the macaroni to al dente, drain.

Make a roux with the melted butter, flour and milk (that is, mix them together in equal parts until they form a smooth paste)

Add in the salt, pepper and mustard.

Add in the grated cheese. Mix until smooth.

Return macaroni to the pot you boiled it in. Mix in the cheese sauce. Transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish.

Top with bread crumbs. Bake for
15 minutes. Enjoy with salad ('cause you need something healthy in there).

1 comment:

Noelle said...

Oooh - that sounds lovely! I'm seeing a common theme in making the roux. That's similar to the Beecher's recipe.

I've made mac 'n' cheese with mustard powder before and I liked the flavor it added.

The secret ingredient to the Beecher's is powdered chipotle peppers. I couldn't find powdered, so I added crushed. Now I'm addicted to this little spice jar of goodness! I even added it to some boxed mac 'n' cheese I was making. It gives it a great smokey kick!

Sorry that I missed the potluck last night. It would have been fun to try the mac 'n' cheese. I haven't been feeling well.