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Foodie Fridays: Homemade Mac + Cheese
Posted by Guest in Foodie Fridays
Macaroni and cheese. Are there three better words in the English language? I think not.

Everyone has their own preferences -- the old school blue box, shells, homemade with egg, homemade without egg, stovetop, baked... the list goes on.

Though I've always had an affinity for the boxed versions, there's definitely something to be said about knowing what you're eating... and knowing that it doesn't involve things you can't pronounce, strange colorings and preservatives, and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. That's where this recipe comes in. Rich and creamy, the ingredients are only the basics. Proof that sometimes less is more.

One word of warning -- this recipe makes roughly a metric ton of macaroni and cheese. So, if you're not feeding an army and don't want to freeze some of it, you might want to consider halving the recipe.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
24 ounces elbow macaroni

Warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, start a large pot of water for the pasta and cook to al dente while working on the cheese sauce.

Melt butter in a large pot or high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour and whisk to work out lumps. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. While whisking, add hot milk a little at a time, keeping the mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, both peppers, and cheeses. Add cooked and drained pasta and stir until fully combined. Allow to stand for five minutes to thicken slightly.

Yield: 12-16 servings

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