Thursday, February 17, 2011

Musings on Macaroni

I like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. But I add extra salt. I think I like fancy macaroni and cheese as well, but it is rarely as good as I hope it will be. I don't eat it if it has pork in it, which is often in restaurants. My friend Marina made a really good one for her kids with leftover cheese from a New Years Eve party that was pretty damn good.

I think I like the idea of crumbs on top, of something crunchy. It should have black pepper. Shouldn't have mushy pasta...I will continue to muse on this topic. Any suggestions are welcome...

Could start with this from Gourmet (may he rest in peace) magazine:

Macaroni and Cheese

  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to fnish:1 1/4 hr
August 2007
The toasted crumbs on top have a cheesy crispness, and the pasta beneath is creamy and rich. Kids will appreciate the individual servings, but the recipe makes plenty, so why not pour the extra into a baking dish to feed the ravenous parents?

For topping

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
  • 1/4 lb coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

For macaroni and sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni

Make topping:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  • Melt butter, then stir together with panko and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Make sauce:

  • Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.

Make Macaroni:

  • Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cooks’ notes: Topping can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Half of dish can be baked in 10 (6- to 8-ounce) ramekins for children (with remaining half baked in a 2-quart baking dish for adults).
Recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

1 comment:

  1. I am not that into mac-n-cheese, not at its simplest and not at its fanciest but I thought I'd comment to say: blog more. :-)