I received a few emails requesting I share the recipe for the mac & cheese that made an appearance in yesterday's post. I'm happy to oblige because I think it's important other people are as severely addicted to this as I am. It's easy to make, but has a fabulous, restaurant-quality taste. When you're craving some mac & cheese, you'll never turn to the boxed stuff again!
Macaroni & Cheese, 52 Recipes from Simple to Sublime, but has been modified to maximum tastiness by my Mom & I!
1 lb pasta (a 500g bag works for me)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (generous heap)
2.5 cups whole milk
1 tsp herbs du provence (one of our modifications, be generous!)
1 tsp nutmeg (again, generous spoonful)
Pinch of salt & cayenne pepper (we skip the Tabasco sauce suggested)
2 cups grated gruyere cheese (another of our mods because this cheese is so tasty)
Countdown to tastiness:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Butter a 9x13 pan.
3. Cook pasta and drain, set aside (in the pot).
4. While pasta is cooking, you can start on the roux: melt the butter over low heat, then add the flour.
5. Whisk the flour and butter mixture so it makes a paste, cook for about one minute.
6. Whisk in milk and increase heat to bring to a boil - it will start to thicken and gently bubble - but keep whisking as it heats (this takes some time, around 15 minutes).
7. Add the spices and cheese to bubbling, thickened milk, stir until melted.
8. Pour sauce on noodles and stir together.
9. Resist eating it at this stage. Hubby struggles with this, hovering around, asking why we can't eat it now. Your patience will be rewarded.
10. Bake 25-30 minutes (until the top is a little browned with slight crispy cheese).
Our substitutions make this a fancy "gruyere mac and chesse," with spicing fit for a nice restaurant. It is excellent as a side dish, or on it's own. Cheesy but not too gooey - know what I mean? Perfectly creamy. This is winter comfort food, but perfect for dreary, cold, rainy spring days too!