1.05.2015

52 - Ninteen


This mac and cheese is featured at Holly’s Diner just once a year, always around the holidays.  This is the richest, creamiest, most decadent mac and cheese…although I think I may add bacon next time around.

 

Macaroni and Cheese 101, Martha Stewart style

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (l stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole

6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces

5 1/2, cups milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt, plus more for water

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese

2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni

 

Preheat oven to 375˚. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour melted butter into the bowl with the bread; toss. Set the bread crumbs aside.

 

Warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt remaining butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

 

While whisking, add hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue
cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes.

 

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, peppers, 3 cups cheddar cheese,
and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere (or I cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

 

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 macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.  Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

 

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and Gruyere (or
Pecorino) and bread crumbs over top. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

 

 

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