Foodie Blogroll

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Here is another first for me believe it or not. I have never really made a homemade mac and cheese before this past winter break. When Maranda was little she didn't like homemade mac & cheese so I didn't attempt making it. Then I made it once from a recipe my daughter's friend's mother had made. I didn't care much for it, it didn't have the butter and flour rue to start off with so it tasted pretty much like just cheese and pasta. So I put it off again not making it for awhile.

I don't know what got into me, but I decided to try making it again, and Maranda was going to help me. It was a big hit and she said how easy it was to make. We've had it twice now and she won't eat it premade or from a box again....the same thing happened when I made stove top popcorn (no more microwave popcorn in this house).

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
8 oz elbow macaroni
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 cup milk, warmed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gouda cheese
1 cup grated Colby Jack
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon hot sauce or chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Asiago cheese, grated

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the noodles are cooking, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent about 5 minutes.

Add flour and stir constantly for a minute or two. Turn heat to medium; gradually whisk in milk and cream, cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until thickened. Reduce heat and add in cream cheese, cheddar, Gouda and Colby jack. Once the cheese has melted, add the hot sauce, mustard, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Add the drained noodles to the cheese sauce, and gently fold into the cheese sauce.

Stir and evenly distribute the mac and cheese into prepared (buttered) baking dish, or dishes.

Grate fresh asiago or pecorino over top.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Now for the hard part... Let stand before serving.... will only take about 5 minutes...I know you can do it!

Like I mentioned above I've made it twice already. Once I used these small ceramic bowls that I got for Christmas from Lock and Lock. They are perfect to bake and serve it in. Then for leftovers...if there is any leftovers, you can snap the lid on, store in the fridge and bring it for lunch the next day!

and the other time I used my lasagna dish. This is nice because it's non-stick so I don't have to butter it to prepare it for baking.

So you can use a casserole dish, smaller individual dishes or even ramekins. Top with different cheese find one you like. You can even add red pepper flakes, smoked paprika or chipotle chili powder. If you have to you can add bread crumbs to the top, but we like it without.

Now to share one of a few things that we've been up to in January. Staring with the
Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival, an event that took place in Sarasota, Florida on 06-Jan-2012. 2012

Wade was talked into showing his 1981 Kawasaki, but he missed having it entered in the vintage class by one year! Funny though he could an antique licence tag on it.

It was a beautiful day and you could see motorcycles lined up all through the downtown streets. People walking everywhere and dressed up in their biker best. A great place to people watch. I didn't get any pictures of the food booths this year

Meanwhile back at the my Ti plants are in bloom...

and one of my cactus, I believe it's a prickly pear. Maybe you know what it is...let me know!