An Ode to Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese

Oh, Mac & Cheese- how you delight me so!

Always there to comfort and warm me

Changing ever so slightly-

Always to satisfy my wishes and desires

You never falter-

Whether made from scratch or out of a box-

I will never tire of you, Mac & Cheese

And will enjoy our love affair

Nay, our journey as fateful soul mates

Forever and ever

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Now that I’ve got that out of my system I’ll just say it once more: I LOVE MACARONI AND CHEESE!  Everyone who knows me knows I make a mean Mac & Cheese. All the kiddies can tell you- my Kraft Mac & Cheese making abilities are beyond amazing. However, as I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself gastronomically, I wanted to make sure I could make the real deal Mac & Cheese from scratch. I did it- and I did it well!
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Cheesy, Crunchy, Gooey, Perfect!

Cheesy, Crunchy, Gooey, Perfect!

The Perfect Cheesy, Crunchy, Gooey, Mac & Cheese: Serves 4
adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
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2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for casserole

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, cubed

1 3/4 cups milk

1/8 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water

A pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese

2/3 cup (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
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1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a casserole or gratin dish and set aside. Place the bread in a bowl. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep the mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, black pepper, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano); set the sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni about 2 to 3 minutes until it is underdone. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain. Stir the macaroni into the sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish(es). Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes for an individual serving, 35-40 minutes for a casserole serving. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


There is nothing more to say. Just go, print out this recipe, and indulge in this perfect Mac & Cheese.

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