Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Macaroni & Cheese

I've recently been going through my cookbooks, looking for new recipes to try out as well as trying to determine which cookbooks I'd like to hold on to and which ones I never use. The Gourmet Cookbook is most definitely in the "to-keep" pile; everything I've made out of it is absolutely delicious. I tried the mac & cheese recipe out about a month ago, and I loved that I could subtly taste the Dijon mustard in the sauce. If you're looking for a mega cheesy recipe, this is not it, but it's delicious and creamy and perfect for these rainy fall days.

Macaroni & Cheese
for topping:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 cups panko or coarse dry bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 4 oz)

for cheese sauce & macaroni:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1 pound)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound elbow macaroni

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish.

Make the topping:
Stir together butter, panko, and cheese in a bowl until well combined.

Make the sauce:
Melt butter in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Whisk in milk in a slow stream, then bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in cream, Cheddar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Remove pot from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming.

Cook the macaroni & assemble the dish:
Cook macaroni in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 Tbsp salt per every 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain macaroni.

Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl, then transfer to baking dish (mixture will be loose).

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni. Bake until top is golden and bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Serves 8-12.

source: recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook

P.S. More mac & cheese recipes.

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