Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just another Day in Paradise: Mac and Cheese

Don't let the pile of dishes in the sink deter you, this is really a terrific mac and cheese, and can be your Take 5 dinner.  Today I was testing recipes for classes I will teach December 4 and 5th with my friend Phillis Carey at Great News.  We are doing what we call a "duet", where we each do courses for a meal around a theme, this year Phillis' brilliant idea was New Years' Eve. I'm doing down-home comfort food, she's doing the elegant intimate dinner party.  The centerpiece for mine is Lobster Mac and Cheese.   So, Dr. C and I had quite a dinner tonight; if you want to get the recipe for the Lobster Mac and Cheese, come on down to Great News, and join us--you'll get lots of great recipes, tips, tricks, and entertainment--there are usually rubber chickens lurking about, we wear tiaras, and costumes for this shindig---it's a great way to get into the holiday spirit, as well as get some great ideas for the holidays. 
These are the photos from the Lobster Mac and Cheese today.

Cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente, so that it won't become mushy in the oven.  I love Barilla, the elbows have ridges and hold the sauce nicely.

Cabot farms sharp white cheddar is awesome in mac and cheese.

Sauce with lobster

OK, I want to eat this whole pan!

Crispy crumbs give you some nice contrast to the rich sauce, and mac. 

Since I can't give you the recipe for the Lobster Mac and Cheese, here's one for a dynamite Mac and cheese to serve to your family--enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, I'll be back later in the week with some more gifts from the kitchen ideas. 

Mac and Cheese

Serves about 6

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 dashes Tabasco
1 1/2 cups finely shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups finely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (I like Cabot Farms and Tillamook---both at Costco)
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

1. In a large saucier over medium high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add half of the garlic, sautéing for 1 minute, until fragrant and softened.

2. Whisk in the flour and cook until white bubbles form on the surface. Cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and thick.

3. Gradually add the broth and milk, mustard and Tabasco bringing the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly.

4. Remove the sauce from the heat and slowly add 1 1/4 cups of the mild cheese, and 1 3/4 cups of the sharp cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. (If you leave it on the stove the cheese may separate from the high heat)

5. Coat the inside of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the macaroni and sauce in a large bowl, and stir until well mixed. Transfer to a prepared dish.

6. Melt the remaining butter in a small sauté pan over medium high heat.

7. Add the remaining garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

8. Toss the garlic, butter with the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano the remaining cheddars and parsley. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the Mac and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and bake the Mac and cheese for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are golden brown. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.

10. Cook’s Note: Don’t substitute skim or 2% milk for the whole milk, it will make a weak and watery sauce, and skim milk will turn it blue!

1 comment:

  1. My mouth is watering just looking at these photos! Thanks for sharing your recipe, and for recommending Cabot cheddar! I might be a bit biased, but Cabot is the cheese to my macaroni :) Our farm family owners appreciate your support, and so do I!