Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

adapted from Martha Stewart

Is there anything Martha can't do? I have always always loved mac and cheese. It was my favorite food until I was probably 14 and even though I have long since moved on from the bright yellow Kraft stuff, I still have a little part of my heart that yearns for it. This recipe is little heavy on the calories so I will probably only make it once in a while, but I have to tell you it is divine!

Serves 12 (it makes a lot!)
6 slices of quality white bread, torn into 1/4" pieces
8 Tbsp butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (18 oz.) grated sharp cheddar
2 cups (8 oz) grated Gruyere or Swiss
1 lb elbow macaroni

1. Heat oven to 375. Grease a 3 quart casserole dish and set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl, and pour over 2 Tbsp melted butter. Toss the bread until fairly evenly coated and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat milk.

2. In a large skillet, melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter. When the butter bubbles, add flour, stirring constantly for about a minute. Then slowly pour the heated milk into the flour/butter mix, whisking all the while. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the sauce bubbles and becomes thick. Remove from heat, add spices, and pour into a large bowl along with 3 cups cheddar and the 1 1/2 cups of Gruyere or Swiss. Set aside.

3. Boil water in a large pot, add macaroni. Cook 2-3 minutes less than the package says, so the pasta is underdone. Take out the pasta and rinse under cold water, drain. Add pasta to the cheese sauce and stir all together.

4. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Bake until browned, about 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

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