Saturday, June 6, 2009
Mac & Cheese
I'm telling you, it's feast or famine around here. After going for weeks with little inspiration for posting, I now find myself with a backlog of topics (and I'm trying to pace myself). That's Munch and her Daddy at her preschool carnival/fundraiser last weekend. It was a lot of fun- jumpy house, live music, BBQ, and projects for the kids to do. I ended up winning a photo session in their silent auction- we'll probably do it after we get back from San Diego. This photographer did their school portraits, which turned out adorable, and we've never done a photo session as a family yet.\
For dinner that night, I made a dish of macaroni and cheese. This recipe went over better than the last one I tried (supposedly "the best recipe" from Wondertime)- Munch turned her nose up at it, so I went back to an old favorite (Martha's, I think). Munch liked this one quite a bit more (even though it's not her beloved Annie's that Grandma makes for her)- don't fix what ain't broke, I guess...
Macaroni and Cheese
4 tbs. unsalted butter
3 slices good white bread, torn into 1/4-inch pieces- about 1 c. crumbs (I usually set aside leftover french bread, tear it into crumbs, and store it in the freezer)
2 3/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 1/4 c. grated sharp white cheddar (about 9 oz.)
1 c. grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz.)
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square casserole dish and set aside. Melt 1 tbs. butter, pour over bread crumbs. Toss to coat and set buttered bread crumbs aside. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and heat milk. Melt remaining 3 tbs. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted and starts to bubble, add flour. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute, then slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, and 3/4 c. Gruyere cheese. Set cheese sauce aside. Follow package directions for boiling/cooking pasta, drain well, and add to cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni and cheese to the buttered dish and top with the bread crumbs and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until browned , about 30 minutes.
True to form, Munch ate all her cantaloupe and veggies FIRST, and still needed a bit of coaxing to get moving on the "cheesy pasta"