Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is the number one comfort food. It is a casserole consisting of cooked pasta "Macaroni" with a cheese sauce. There are many variations of this dish  from all over the world, like the Alpine Herder's Macaroni from Switzerland or the Caribbean Macaroni Pie. Unfortunately for most of us, the best known versions are the packaged or Kraft dinners which are not even close to the real recipe made from scratch.

Ingredients for 6 servings

1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups grated aged Cheddar
2 cups grated Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
5 bacon strips oven baked and cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and drizzle with the vegetable oil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat without boiling it. In a large pot melt the butter and add the flour, cook over low heat for 2 minutes stirring constantly. While whisking add the hot milk and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the stove and add the Gruyere, Cheddar, nutmeg, pepper, salt and bacon. Add the cooked macaroni and mix well.

Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until the surface is lightly brown.