Sunday, February 27, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

It looks like this in Vancouver today....
On a day like today all I want to do is sit under a blanket with a latte and eat comfort food. For me there is nothing more comforting that Macaroni and Cheese. I think this just might be my favorite meal. There is really nothing better or more comforting than creamy cheese sauce and noodles.
It’s cheesey and gooey with a crunchy topping... its heaven.
Here’s what you need,
3 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
3 cups milk (warmed) you can use any kind of milk but for a rich creamy mac and cheese go higher fat, 2% for sure, whole would be sinful!
2 cups grated cheese, I used a combo of extra old white cheddar, regular old orange cheddar and mozzarella. But any cheeses you like would be good.
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cups dry macaroni noodles
For the Topping:
1 cup of panko crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the macaroni according to directions. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add in flour, salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat. Let it brown a bit and start to bubble, keep stirring. Once it bubbles let it go for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Slowly start to add the warmed milk, I just warm mine in the microwave. Keep stirring as you add the milk, this will help keep the sauce smooth.
Continue to stir the sauce over medium heat until it thickens. It will get very steamy and will coat the back of a spoon. DO NOT BOIL! It will probably take 5-8 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and stir in dry mustard and worcestershire sauce. Slowly add the cheese by the handful and stir until melted.
Add the cooked macaroni noodles and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a baking dish.
Mix together the panko and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle topping all over top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30minutes until bubbly. You can turn on the broiler for a couple minutes at the end to brown the top a bit more. Watch it close so the crumbs dont’ burn.
Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
This is the hardest part. You are going to wanna jam a spoon right in there, but don’t do it. Firstly you will burn your lips off but if you give a few minutes the sauce thickens up just a bit more.
So if it looks like this at your place today,
Make this for dinner, you will be very happy!
It will leave you feeling warm, cozy and FULL!

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