Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday, March 12th - D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
D thinks we have too much pasta in the pantry versus the amount of pasta we actually eat.  Left to his own devices, he would probably opt for pasta 3-4 nights a week.  I on the otherhand am probably interested in it about once a week if that. BUT whereas D is happy with keeping a pack of Whole Wheat Spaghetti or Fettucini, I collect shapes.  And since alot of the shapes I like aren't available in most supermarkets, I buy and store them whenever I see them. Radiatore, Gemelli, Gigli, ridged Macaroni, Whole Wheat Rigatoni, Capellini, Papardelle, Ditalini, Orzo, Fideu.... It was when D came across my bag of ridged Macaroni that he decided we needed to deplete my stash.  :^/ 

D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound dry Macaroni (I like once with ridges on it to 'grab' more sauce)
2 c Milk
2 T Butter
2 T +1 t Flour
1 t cracked Black Pepper
200 g Emmenthal, grated
200 g Danish Blue Cheese (mild), crumbled
200 g Gruyère
1/2 c frozen/fresh Peas, defrosted and drained
100 g Sharp White Cheddar
1/2 c Bread Crumbs (or Panko)
1 T Butter

5-7 (100g) Strips Bacon (OPTIONAL for a half 'meaty' Mac)

Turn the oven on to 375 F as you start.

Cook the Macaroni as per the directions but cook until tender and not too al dente.  This to me, means 1 minute longer than I would if I were doing a regular pasta dish.  Drain well and set aside.  Toss well because water can get trapped in the tube.

If you're doing a half 'meaty Mac, meaning have the dish will have Bacon, chop the bacon in a pan until almost crispy.  Drain the fat and set aside.  If you're doing a whole Bacony Mac, then double the Bacon.

In a large saucepan, ideally the pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the Butter on Medium/Low heat.  Whisk in the Flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn the heat up to Medium/High.  Add the Milk slowly until smooth.  Continue stirring until it just comes to a boil and it thickens.  Then turn the heat down to Low or off if you're stove top does not cool off very fast.

Add the Pepper. Continue whisking.  Gradually add the Cheese (except the Cheddar) in handfuls as each handful melts.  Add the Peas and stir.  Season with Salt to taste.  The cheese should be salty enough.  Add the drained Pasta to the Sauce and combine well. Spread out in a baking dish like an oven proof lasagna pan. 

If you are doing a 'half meaty Mac',  spread the Bacon on half the dish and work in with a fork. 

Melt the Butter and in a bowl, toss with the Bread Crumbs.  Add the Cheddar and mix well.  Spread evenly over the top of the dish.

Place in the Oven in bottom third and bake for 15 minutes.  The cheese should be bubbling.  If you want to brown the top more, turn on the broiler on high for 2 minutes.  No more!  Or watch carefully.  D has burned more garlic bread than we want to mention by under estimating the lethal heat of the broiler. :^D

Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

The sauce was so cheesy and creamy that I practically licked the cooking pot clean!... wish I were exaggerating.


4 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oh, boy, does this look fabulous! The more cheese, the better~

Tiffany said...

These are bold flavors! YUM!

briarrose said...

A cheese lovers dream. :) Wonderful recipe.

kita said...

Sadly, we have an entire section of the pantry devoted to dried pasta. BF is addicted to it (and too could have it 3 or 4 nights a week by the box load). I do sneak in whole wheat and 'plus' when I can but he's so opposed to it. Something about being a noodle purist.

Mac and cheese is a month once weekly for us so Im always reading recipes to see what I can tweak here and there.