Friday, February 20, 2009

Belle's Macaroni and Cheese

Pretty darn tasty, and pretty darn bad for you. This is a halved recipe, but I'd say it'd still feed four people really generously. Because we only got through very little of this and are eating it again tonight with the chicken piccata I'm going to make. Careful using a Microplane grater: I shredded my thumb, and that kind of was not awesome and blood-flecked cheese is gross. Next time I will experiment with different cheeses. I imagine gruyere would be nice.


2 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 lb Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated.
1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated
3 cups whole milk
1/2-3/4 lb elbow macaroni or shell pasta
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
1 cup panko
7-8 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
1/4 cup grated parmesan


1. Cook the pasta to tender (not al dente!i in salted water, drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, reserve. you can do this while you do everything else, of course.

2. Make a bechemel:

Melt the butter on medium high till foaming. Add flour, mustard powder, cayenne, stir and cook until fragrant and golden, about 1-2 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the milk. Turn heat till high, and whisking, bring the milk to boiling. When it reaches a full boil, turn heat down to medium, and constantly whisking, let it reduce at least 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat. Add cheeses and salt stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Add the reserved pasta.

3. Put pot back on medium and heat everything through, 6-8 minutes.

4. Pour mixture into a broil safe baking dish. I used an 8x8 glass Pyrex.

5. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter, again on medium high. Add panko and sage leaves, stir and toast until slightly golden (don't burn or toast too far). Mix with parmesan cheese, use as topping for your mac and cheese.

6. Broil on high until everything is golden and toasty, just a few minutes.