Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's for dinner: Macaroni and Cheese

I will never try to tell you that my mac and cheese is good for your heart.  It’s not.  But sometimes you need comfort food, and this can fill the bill.

Cook 1 pound of pasta. Twisty shapes grab the sauce best, I used cavatappi tonight.  It is important to cook the pasta well, almost over-cook it.  Al dente pasta is not a good thing in mac and cheese. 

Sauté 2 T of grated shallot and 1 clove of grated garlic in 4 T butter.  Whisk in 4 T flour and cook over medium heat for about three minutes.  Add 1//8 t cayenne, 1 t dry mustard, and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk in 2 cups of half-and-half (okay, you can use skim milk here if you want to!) and one cup of chicken stock or broth.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and stir in by handfuls 2 C sharp cheddar cheese and 1 C jack cheese.  Stir each handful until it is melted before adding the next handful.  Stir sauce into drained pasta.  Serve as is, or pour into a casserole dish and top with sharp cheddar and breadcrumbs, bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until bubbly.

My next “What’s for dinner” installment will cover a big project: a birthday dinner for my dear husband.  Dinner is on Friday, but prep starts tomorrow.  I’ll tell you the menu tomorrow.

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