Today was a beautiful day, in the 70's and it was time to take the covers off the patio furniture, as well a few cleaning projects. As I get to the end of the week, my enthusiasm for cooking kind of hits a wall; I'm a little tired of eating my own food, and I'm not really enthused about any of our take out options. So, tonight, I finally decided that Mac and Cheese was going to be our dinner. It's not really the Mac and Cheese that is key here, it's the salad, which balances the creamy cheesy mac. So, let's get to it.
Mac and Cheese
One pound cavatappi, or elbow macaroni, cooked 2 to 3 minutes short of al dente
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
13/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups milk, heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
few drops tabasco and salt
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, and saute the onion, until it is translucent.
Add the flour, and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the broth, and bring to a boil.
Add the milk and Worcestershire.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheddar cheese, Tabasco and season with salt if necessary.
Add the pasta, and stir to combine.
Transfer to the prepared pan, sprinkle with Parmigiano, and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the mac and cheese is bubbling.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
A few Cook's Notes: You can change up the cheeses here, Pepper Jack, Asiago, and aged Gouda, are all great choices. Sometimes, I just use up what's in the cheese drawer, mixing them.
I use broth as about 1/2 of the liquid, it tends to lighten up the sauce.
I use DeCecco pasta, and highly recommend it. It's generally more expensive but worth it. Cook it 2 to 3 minutes short of al dente, since it will cook again in the oven.
|So, yeah, it was delicious, but the balance of the salad on the side sends it into All-Star territory. |
Makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.