Hello! We are FINALLY BACK! As soon as I returned to the US, I had a vaguely familiar craving. No more salads and falafel and traditional Israeli cuisine. I wanted something…cheesey. I wanted something…creamy. I wanted good ol’ stick to your stomach, food coma inducing, tried and true, mac and cheese. I looked no further than our Gourmet cookbook and I found an excellent recipe.
Gourmet Cookbook’s Mac and Cheese
2 tbs melted butter, melted
2 cups panko breadcrumbs 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
Cheese Sauce and Macaroni:
3 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs flour
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 3/4 cups whole milk (I used skim because I didn’t have whole- it’s still decadent)
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400 F. Butter a 3 quart shallow baking dish. (I used a bunch of little ramekins)
Make the topping: Stir butter, panko, and cheese in a bowl until well combined.
Make the sauce: Melt butter in a 5 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes and cook, whisking for 3 minutes to make a roux. Whisk in milk in a slow stream, then bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer, whisking occassionally for 3 minutes. Stir in cream, cheddar, mustard, salt and pepper. Remove pot from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax pepper to prevent skin from forming.
Cook the Macaroni and assemble the dish: Cook macaroni until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain macaroni. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl, then transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni. Bake until top is golden and bubbling, 25-35 minutes.
All I have to say about this mac is that it gives Kraft a serious run for their money. The topping is crispy and buttery and the cheese- OH THE CHEESE. It’s perfect. The mustard adds a very unique flavor, and the reserved cooking water really brings everything together.
I have to say that I am SO happy to be back in New York. We have a great apartment and drumroll please….we have a DISHWASHER!!!!! No more hand washing dishes, no more soap scum, no more trouble.
Can’t wait to keep cookin and bloggin! Please give suggestions on what you want to see this summer on Nosh and Tell. Thanks for being such loyal fans- Whit and I love you for your hunger!