Welcome Jenna back again everyone!! Her pick this time was macaroni and cheese. I immediately go to Martha Stewart’s recipe when I think of mac and cheese. I must have made this a hundred times. My recipe is yellowed, torn, tattered and spilled on. A sign of a good recipe! The girls had fun making this one. Amber even opted to grate all that cheese herself rather than use the food processor. Good on ya girl!!! Jenna is always a delight to work with, full of cooperation and giggles. The end product turned out wonderful and the girls gobbled it down with a nice salad. You have to try this recipe. It is good old comfort food at it’s best!!!
8 Tbsp. butter, plus more for the dish or dishes
6 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4-1/2 pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups old white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups Gruyere, grated
1 lb. elbow macaroni
Heat oven to 375F. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish or two smaller ones, I usually stick one in the freezer to have at a later date. Just thaw and bake accordingly. Place the bread in a medium bowl and microwave 2 Tbsp. butter until melted. Pour butter over bread and toss. Set the bread crumbs aside. Fill a large pasta pot with salted water and heat over high heat.
Meanwhile in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk. Then melt the remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter bubbles add the flour and whisk cooking for 1 min. While whisking slowly pour in the hot milk a bit at a time until all is incorporated. Let the mixture thicken and bubble while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add the salt, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk well. Then add 3 cups cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, set cheese sauce aside but stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t form a skin on top.
Once water is boiling in the large pasta pot add the macaroni and cook until al dente. You really want it underdone as it will continue to cook in the oven. Follow the manufacturers instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into the prepared dish or dishes. Sprinkle on remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere followed by the bread crumbs. Bake for 45-60 min. until browned on the top and bubbling in the middle. Let cool for 5 min. Ken and I both love it with Frank’s red hot sauce. We put the sh#$^@ on everything, well maybe not but our mac and cheese for sure!!!
Recipe adapted slightly from Martha Stewart