Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Dbinbek, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Dbinbek

    Dbinbek Guest

    This recipe for Macaroni and Cheese casserole comes from our recipe site
    We are doing a comfort food theme for this month and I believe your readers would like it as much as
    ours have!

    Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Makes 3- 4 Servings

    Simply Food Chicago Staff

    For many people, macaroni and cheese is comfort food, a dish that evokes happy memories of
    childhood. But not for me! We rarely had it at home, and early exposures to the version served in
    school cafeterias were anything but comforting: Made with Velveeta, the stuff was gloppy and bland,
    with scorched edges that reminded me of burnt rubber.

    Today's mac and cheese is a far cry from that of our childhood. This recipe is a hearty yet meatless
    bowl of comfort for blustery days. this recipe gets a flavor boost by adding a mixture of good
    cheeses, quality pasta and discreet hints of spice.

    It should take less than an hour to make this dish, with the last 30 minutes devoted to unsupervised
    baking time.

    6 to 8 ounces cheese (Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, Emmenthaler, or all four)
    3/4 cup milk 1 egg
    4/2 teaspoon dry mustard Salt Pepper Cayenne, dried red-pepper flakes or hot sauce Nutmeg 4 ounces
    elbow macaroni or short pasta 1 tablespoon butter Garlic clove

    First preheat your oven to 350F (175C); put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta;
    lightly grease a casserole or baking dish large enough to hold the macaroni and rub its inner
    surface with smashed garlic cloves; and measure out your cheese. Let your imagination go as you
    choose a cheese or variety of cheeses that suits your taste. I use Cheddar or similar sharp yellow
    cheese as a starting point and usually have it as about three-fourths of the blend. Swiss-type
    cheeses such as Gruyere or Emmenthaler add a pleasant high note, and a bit of blue cheese (I
    included 1 ounce of Stilton in a recent mix) contributes earthiness and complexity. Grate the
    cheeses together using the large-hole side of a four-sided grater or equivalent.

    Break the egg into a bowl, whip with a fork until the white and yolk are mixed, then stir in 1/2
    cup of the milk, taking care to reserve about 1/4 cup for later. Add the dry mustard (it's easiest
    if you dissolve it in a little water first), and stir in salt, freshly grated pepper and nutmeg and
    cayenne or hot sauce to taste. Using elbow macaroni for tradition or your choice of short pasta
    such as penne or conchiglie (small shells), put the pasta in the boiling salted water and cook
    until it's nearly al dente but still firm, remembering that it will cook more in the dish: The
    soggy, mushy overcooked macaroni of school days is not what we want here. Elbow macaroni should be
    done in 6 minutes or so. Short pastas may take a bit longer - go by experience or check
    instructions on the package.

    Drain the pasta and put it back into the same pot along with the butter. Toss until the butter melts
    and coats the pasta. Over medium-low heat, stir in the milk, egg and spice mixture. Then add two-
    thirds of the cheese. (NOTE: Be sure to save about one-third for later.) Stir until the cheese has
    melted and the contents of the pot are bubbly. then add the remaining milk and about half of the
    remaining cheese, stirring until this cheese melts. Turn the contents into the greased and garlicky
    casserole dish, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until
    it's bubbling throughout and crusty-brown on top.

    Best Regards,

    Donna L. Binbek Editor & Publisher Simply Food Chicago

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