Two weeks ago, when I was invited to a vegetarian potluck BBQ I started to do a little research on homemade mac and cheese recipes. With so many recipes to read and so many photos to drool over, I grabbed every pot I had, and started cooking.The recipe I began with was from Martha Stewart – I know I can trust her recipes to be tasty, but also to be a tad bit overly detailed. So as I read through her ingredients and directions and took them with a grain of salt. See what I did there? So without further ado, start cooking!
AMAZEBALLS Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Martha Stewart
(Serves 12, feel free to cut in half)
6 slices bakery white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 8oz. bricks of sharp white cheddar, grated
8oz. grated Gruyere (the smoked one is a good choice)
1 pound pasta – use elbow macaroni or shells
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 3-quart casserole dish using a little butter or cooking spray.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan or microwave safe container. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl, pour butter over the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk.
Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles thickens.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, shredded cheeses (save a ¼ cup total to sprinkle on top at the end). Set cheese sauce aside.
Bring to a boil a large saucepan filled with water. Add your pound of pasta. Cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Drain and rinse under cold water – drain well. Stir cooked pasta into the cheese sauce.
Pour the mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes.
In addition to the large casserole dish for the vegetarian potluck, I made a small one for a birthday lunch for my aunt the following day. Smart, right?
Those torn bread pieces turn into some serious croutons. Adds just a bit of crunch – yumm!
I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about my dirty dishes? But don’t worry, I revised my version of the recipe to reduce the number of pots and pans, cause really this is just not worth it.
Since the vegetarian BBQ party, I made this recipe again for a family BBQ party – the kids loved it, the family loved it, trust me its pretty amazeballs!