Friday, November 21, 2008
Macaroni & Cheese
We woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground here in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Brrrrr! It's been unseasonably cold. It seems that Mother Nature decided to skip the last part of autumn and head straight into winter.
Cold weather means it's time for comfort food, something that's warm and filling of body and soul. In our house, it's time to make home baked Macaroni and Cheese!
From the Pasta book of Food & Wine comes this fabulous recipe that my in laws ask me to cook when they come to visit. It's the recipe my husband asks me to make for his birthday. It's that good!
Serves 4 (More like 6)
5 tbls. Butter
3 tbls. flour
2 cups milk
3/4 Pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
2 tbls. chopped fresh parsley
1. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Still over moderate heat, bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, mustard, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and whisk until the cheese melts.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the macaroni until almost tender but still slightly underdone, about 7 minutes. Drain.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the macaroni and cheese sauce. Transfer to baking dish.
4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with the bread crumbs, chopped fresh parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the macaroni. Bake until the top is beginning to brown and the sauce is bubbling, approximately 30 minutes.