I will admit to you that twice before I attempted to make mac and cheese, both times failing miserably. I think I subconsciously told myself "surely skim milk or whole wheat pasta will do" or "we don't need quite that much cheese"... wrong. If you're going to do it- you must do it right. Martha's Macaroni and Cheese: (adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com/)1 cup of panko bread crumbs 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter at room temperature 5 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 5-6 dashes of hot sauce (I like Texas Pete) 4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese 1 pound elbow macaroni *I promised you that I wouldn't monkey with this but I used panko instead of the cubed white bread Martha calls for. Also, while I used all six and a half cups of the cheese, I used a few different kinds based on what was in my refrigerator. It was some combination of sharp cheddar, gruyere and an Italian blend of cheeses. **NOTE: This recipe makes a BOAT LOAD of macaroni and cheese. From this one recipe, I was able to make one 9 x 13 baking dish full to take to a pot luck and a second smaller dish that I saved at home for dinner the next night. John and I could barely finish it.... 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the panko bread crumbs in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Pour the melted butter into the panko, and toss. Set aside. 2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. (I actually boiled my pasta first and then used the same pot to make the cheese sauce.) When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. 3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes. 4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside. 5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. 6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the panko over the top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Martha's Mac and Cheese
When it comes to classics like macaroni and cheese, Ms. Martha Stewart will not steer you wrong. You can guarantee that you won't get an abbreviated, low-cal, low-fat or monkeyed around with variation of the dish... you'll get the.real.thing. And boy did I ever with this mac and cheese recipe.