Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving's Greatest Hits - Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is a common Southern "vegetable" served at Thanksgiving. I made it for the first time this year, and even though we have plenty of starchy sides, we really loved it. It also makes a great non-Thanksving-y leftover.

This is Martha Stewart's recipe I've posted before, but here it is with some changes. It is so, so good.

Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 12
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or 9x13 pan; set aside. Place panko breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. In the microwave, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with breadcrumbs, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 cup Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/4 cup Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

6 comments:

Alison... said...

I absolutely love home made mac and cheese! When I saw it on your holiday menu, I knew you had gone over to the dark side... you're now a true Southerner!

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