Monday, March 29, 2010

Mac n Cheese

I don't know what it was about yesterday that made me feel so tired... it might have been the bleak weather, or the lack of quality sleep due to Quinn's midnight infiltration of our bed, but I felt as if I never fully woke up. Since it was Tom's night off, we attempted family dinner again. The highlight of dinner, for me, was the macaroni and cheese. I know that I had a recipe a long time ago, but at this point, I just wing it. It goes a little like this:

Melt 3 or 4 T of butter in a double boiler. I nestle a stainless bowl inside a saucepan filled with a few inches of very hot, but not quite boiling, water. Gradually whisk in an equal amount of flour. Whisk constantly for a few minutes until the flour is fully incorporated and loses its "raw" taste. Begin adding milk in small increments allowing each addition to thicken prior to adding more. I probably used about 3 cups of 2% milk. When the sauce is of a consistency that you enjoy (err on the side of too thin rather than too thick since things will change when you add the cheese) add grated cheese (maybe ~3 cups) and stir to a smooth consistency. Last night I used baby Swiss, aged gouda and some sharp cheddar - this is a bit of an exercise in cleaning out the cheese drawer for me. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I also like to add some smoked paprika for an added flavor dimension as well as for color. Combine cheese sauce with al dente pasta (last night I used whole wheat spirals) and place in a lightly buttered baking dish. Top with dried bread crumbs and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Yum - the perfect antidote to a rainy Monday.

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