October 3, 2010

Mac and Cheese

I'm not even going to elaborate. It warms you on a cold day, comforts you when you're feeling blue, and is even better the next day reheated for lunch (sigh...), I love this dish!

Mac and Cheese
(print)
makes a 13x9 pan

4 large slices of homemade, bakery bread (I prefer Italian)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups dry pasta
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 and 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded romano cheese
sea salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly mist a 13x9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Tear up the bread into bite-sized pieces and spread evenly onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Melt 2 tablespoons of  butter in the microwave, then drizzle over the bread. Mix to coat. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bread is hard, dry and lightly browned.

When the bread has cooled, place the pieces into a food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground. Reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees.
Choose a fun sized pasta and cook until "al dente", about 5 minutes (undercook).
Slowly heat the milk (as well as the half and half) in a small pan until hot.
In another large-sized saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then whisk in the flour until mixture forms a paste. Stir one minute.
Slowly whisk the hot milk into the butter and flour until well combined. Continue stirring until mixture becomes thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Now, grab that beautiful cheese!
Add the shredded cheese, a little at a time, stirring until melted. Gently mix the pasta with the cheese sauce, and spoon into the prepared casserole pan. Evenly cover with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until browned and bubbling.
Need I say more?

3 comments:

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

omg! these look really yummy:) i love it.

Jenny said...

Going to try this on my favorite little mac n cheese girl this week. She has very discriminate taste when it comes to mac n cheese. I have made many a home made mac n cheese with beautiful cheeses, the smoothest bechamel and she insist that Kraft from a box is better !!

Cooking With Libby said...

I made this this weekend for my family and it was a hit! I wrote a blog post about it....
http://www.cookingwithlibby.com/2010/12/homemade-macaroni-and-cheese.html
Thanks for such a great recipe!!