Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cheesy Mac n Cheese

I’ve never made Mac n Cheese with a roux before, until the other day. It turned out wonderful and so cheesy I thought I’d share the recipe.
Melt a half a stick of butter over medium heat. Yes, I know my picture shows an entire stick and luckily I caught my mistake before it melted entirely. Smile
Sprinkle in 4 TBS or 1/3 cup of flour. This will make your rue and this is what will make your cheese sauce thicken.
Stir this over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. I use a whisk when making a roux, it’s great for when the butter and flour want to stick to the sides of the pan. Eventually it’ll look like this.
If you use real butter, not margarine, your rue will be very white, but I didn’t have any on hand so mine turned out very yellow.  NEXT, pour in 2 1/2 cups of milk. The higher fat content in your milk the creamier your finished product will be, so keep that in mind.
Stir until mixed. Now crack one egg into a separate small bowl and whip it up just a bit. Go back to your rue and whisk this around for about 5 minutes, or until it’s as thick as you like it. If you’ve ever made gravy from a seasoning packet you know the drill.
Once everything is thickened up, take about 1/3 cup of the roux and pour it into your slightly beaten egg.
You’re going to be ‘tempering’  the egg, so make sure you stir the egg mixture as you pour in the roux so that the egg doesn’t scramble.
Now take the tempered egg and pour it into the roux and mix it together well. When that’s mixed in, add 2 cups of cheddar cheese to the roux and 1/2 tsp of salt.
You can turn the heat off at this point. Everything is hot enough to melt the cheese, just stir so nothing burns.
Now you’re ready to dump in about 4 cups of almost cooked all the way pasta of your choice. DSCN1251
Mix until the pasta is coated with cheese and then pour this into a casserole dish. Sprinkle more cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.
So delicious.

My verdict: This is totally grown up mac n cheese. I think I went a little heavy with the cheddar so it wasn’t as ‘wet’ as I would have liked. But after 24 hours, there was not a single cheese covered noodle to be found!

The family verdict: Not a single one of the kids liked it, they even said it was too cheesy. As if there could ever be a such! I think if it were ‘wetter’ they may have approved.

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