Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mac and Cheese

Other then the vegan community, who doesn't like Mac and cheese? Hell. Even some vegans like it, but they just talk about it like a lofty memory from another life as if it was a first love. Yeh it's pretty good. I've been told my Mac and cheese is great, and have used it as currency in more then one situation. I made this batch for two in my little Le Creuset pan. This is my favorite pan because it works so well for two people size dishes. I picked it up at Marshals for half the price. If you don't have a stove to oven dish, do all the stove top steps in a pan then add to a casserole. Ok! So this is what I use!
- 2 cups of elbow macaroni (I tried the "plus" stuff it's ok, but go for regular)
-Whole milk
-1/2 stick of butter
-Shredded cheddar (a big handfull?)
-Fontina cheese (about a 3inch square)
-2-3 tablespoons of flour
-Cayenne powder
-Salt & Pepper
Bring water to a boil and add the two cups of macaroni, once cooked, strain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta hang out in the colander while we make the cheese sauce in the same pan.
On medium heat melt the butter
Sprinkle in the flour
Constantly stir the flour and butter while it bubbles and the raw taste of flour cooks out. About a minute should do it
Slowly add the milk, I just fill it till it was a bit under two inches high in the pan.
Mix it! Mix it! Mix it!
Add the salt, pepper and Cayenne powder. About half a teaspoon of the Cayenne, it just compliments the cheese taste really nice. As the milk is brought up to heat you'll see it start to thicken, keep mixing it and DON'T let it boil. Adjust the heat if you need to.
Once the milk grows thick begin to add the cheeses. I didn't feel like making a mess out of my grater so I just chopped up the Fontina. It's an amazing cheese that really aids in that gooy melty- ness that is so great about this dish. Mix until the cheese melts.
Now a nice handful of cheddar, sharp cheddar is good. Mix it up until everything combines. Taste the mix to make sure there's enough tang from the salt, crack from the pepper and a soft heat from the Cayenne.
See? It's great nice and think to coat the spoon but it still runs off.
Add the pasta right back in, don't worry it will seem a bit too saucy. Once we bake it in the oven it will all come together.
Mix it up
Add a cracker crust to the top. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 350 for ten minutes, uncover the dish and bake for another ten. Enjoy!

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