Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crave: Mac and Cheese


Today I want to share one of my favorite recipes. Warning: If you are on any sort of diet, you might want to run away before I tempt you. Hopefully we can still be friends though?

I lovingly refer to this dish as "Crack and Cheese." Like "crack," (I'm only assuming, don't stage an intervention), this dish is addicting and expensive.

{Bad joke. I know.}

Don't fret, it's a "fancier" version of homemade mac & cheese, but extremely easy to whip up, and not that expensive.
It feeds a bunch of people or you can freeze any extra for later if your crowd is a little smaller. Either way, you end up with a whole lot of it. One of my top 10 comfort foods. Ok. Maybe top 20. It's me were talking about, and I love my food. Praise the food gods above, that I have a metabolism. Hopefully it keeps going strong. Bad news my friends if it doesn't. Bad news.

P.S. This is the infamous Martha Stewart version. It might make you infamous too. In a good way. Enjoy!

Martha's Mac & Cheese

a8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. 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 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, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

so so so good.

What have you been craving lately?


{Bon Bon}


abby | ybba said...

you know what ? i should be running away . i took your warning for it but i couldn't help it. i just had to see your recipe! and it looks YUMMY.

mary said...

oooh. i will def be making this for some sort of semi-special ocassion soon! (ps i have no idea how to spell occassion)! meaning, i have to find a reason to make this asap!! thanks skinny pop! xox!

Jillian said...

holy moly that looks GOOOOOOOD! must try. thanks for sharing. oxo jcd

tickled. said...

oh.my.gosh. this looks DELICIOUS and now the ONLY thing I'm craving is "crack & cheese"! hahaha!

Lauren @ tickled.

Rissy said...

YUM! two teensy problems though... I don't cook and starting today I need a cheese hiatus haha

Thanks for sharing tho... It'll just be eye candy for now


Jennifer said...

Oh how delish. I just has some (very similar to that) on Sunday. Mac & cheese is one of my all time fav comfort foods...I might need some today.

Richard and Megan Flamm said...

That looks awesome!! :) But I have to say I have been craving cupcakes-- too many episodes of cupcake wars with my parents. :)

Megan said...

Oh wow...this looks amazing!! I will definitely be trying this! Hooray for not being on a diet. Even if I should be. Diets and I don't get along.

Becca said...

oooh geez (or should I say cheese?) now I have to try this, unfortunately! cheese+carbs=love

leigh said...

YUM! Mac & Cheese sounds sooo good.
<3 leigh

Megan said...

ooh yum yum yum. mac & cheese is my all time favorite.ever.of.all.time.

Anonymous said...

wow, that is some fancy mac n cheese! nom nom :D

kira said...

So, so good! I was actually craving mac n cheese something fierce today. I rarely make it because I have to eat it all myself. My husband is lactose intolerant.

Jenni said...

Yum. God, YUM. This makes me want to cry tears of joy and food lust. Goodness.

Michelle (michabella) said...

OMG YUM!!!!! <3

Rhiannon Nicole said...

I crave this every second of every day. So yummy and so satisfying!! And girl you have inspired me to perhaps put my nose ring back in :) hehe xo

Nuha said...

I should have taken you advice and stopped reading when you told me to. Now I just want a big bowl of "crack and cheese"!

Jordan said...

That sounds really good, I'm going to have to try it this weekend! Thx!

Beck said...

oh dear... when the weather cools I will be all over this!

Kaycie said...

I was just hopping through your post and I'm so glad I found this beauty! Thanks for the recipe tip! Looks delish!

Newlymeds said...

This looks delish!!

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