November 30, 2007
Macaroni and Five Cheeses
Macaroni and Cheese is one of those foods that immediately makes most people think of comfort, of warmth and of home. It's warm, creamy and oh so sinful, but in a comforting sort of way and sometimes you just need that sort of thing.
Macaroni and Five Cheeses takes your normal Mac and Cheese and takes it to a whole different level. By baking the macaroni in the oven it makes the flavors meld in a way that simply cooking on the stove top doesn't allow, though it's certainly ok to just eat it at that step too! This isn't a dish you want to make often because it's definitely not health food, but occasionally it's nice to indulge is some warm, cheesy goodness!
What You'll Need for the Macaroni:
1 - 1 pound box of elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
4 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2-3/4 cups of dairy (Note: Milk, half and half, heavy cream, etc. I used skim milk today.)
2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded (Note: I like sharp, but what ever you prefer works fine.)
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup of provolone cheese, shredded
1 cup of swiss cheese, shredded
Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside in a very large bowl.
In the same pot that you cooked the macaroni melt butter and add flour, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring constantly to cook the flour. Add dairy and stir to mix. Cook until roux thickens slightly and add cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted and mixture is smooth. If the mixture is really thick add more dairy to the mix. It should be like thick pancake batter in consistency.
Once the mixture is smooth pour it over the macaroni noodles until well incorporated.
At this point you can dig in if you want and you basically have Macaroni with Four Cheeses, but now let's take it to another level!
Pour macaroni mixture into a greased 13 X 9 dish or two smaller dishes. (Note: I went with two smaller dishes. We're having oven issues at the moment and are waiting on the repair guy to do what needs to be done. I actually baked the two smaller dishes in the toaster oven! One is for me and the other one I'm going to put in the freezer and give it to my sister the next time I see her. See it's a share with your friends/family type of dish! ;o))
And now on to the topping!
What You'll Need for the Topping:
Unseasoned bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small dot sized pieces
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Once the macaroni is spread into the greased dish cover the top with a thin layer of bread crumbs and then sprinkle the top with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese and sea salt.
Dot the top with the small butter pieces.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.
Notes: This can be reheated easily and you can even freeze it with the topping on and thaw and bake later. Any type of cheese you like will work. You could even add in some salsa for a Mexican flare!
Posted by Dianne at November 30, 2007 10:20 AM
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Aaw -- I was getting ready to say that I needed to come to your house pronto so I could get me some of that yummy mac & cheese -- and you were already planning on sharing it with me! :)
Can't wait! :)
Posted by: katherine at November 30, 2007 2:02 PM
Well what can I say we have to feed you and little no name baby! ;o) Oh and Nelson too...I know he's all about the cheese! ;o)
Posted by: Dianne at November 30, 2007 2:50 PM