in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Monday, May 9, 2011

Comfort Food II

Now that is what's called a HIATUS!! I am back to a semi-normal schedule now. How long this will last is certainly up in the air but hopefully I will be able to stay with this blog a bit better in the future. It is really raining today and therefore a good day for homemade Mac and Cheese. Hope you enjoy it!
 Macaroni and Cheese
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cup small macoroni, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
8 oz. mild cheddar cheese (medium cheddar is good, too), shredded
4 oz. Swiss Cheese, shredded
3 oz. Baby Bell cheese (or other semi-soft favorite), shredded or roughly chopped
1 cup fresh croissant crumbs (about 1 large croissant)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring water to a boil and add macaroni and salt. Return to a boil, cook until tender. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium high heat in a skillet. Stir in flour and mix until blended. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly with a wire whip. Continue stirring until all lumps are gone and sauce begins to thicken. Sprinkle cheeses and dry mustard onto white sauce. Blend in with the wire whip and continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Remove from heat. Drain cooked pasta when tender and return to pan. Pour cheese sauce over hot pasta and mix well. Butter sides and bottom of a two quart casserole dish with the remaining butter. Turn mac and cheese into dish. Sprinkle croissant crumbs on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Hints: Smaller macaroni allows the thick sauce to penetrate more thoroughly. The pasta will not get softer during the baking so be sure it is tender from boiling. This tastes great heated up the next day. I love to serve it with sliced tomatoes or a fruit salad with citrus ginger dressing. This is a rich, heavy dish that is very hearty.

I still like the mac and cheese in the blue box. It reminds me of my childhood and cooking for myself on Friday nights while the folks were out. But this version is so much tastier!

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