Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

This is delicious but sure doesn't fall into the healthy category. At school the other week the students had to write a procedure making macaroni and cheese from a box and my daughter didn't know how to do that! We don't make it from a box at our house, but I think I will have to get some Annie's macaroni and cheese to have her try it and learn how to make it. Macaroni and cheese to her means this dish.

I think that the original recipe came from Cooks Illustrated, but I have changed it over the years to keep the creaminess and deliciousness yet decrease a bit of the fat. I had a bit of trouble with the link to Cooks Illustrated, so if you really feel the need to see the original recipe it may be necessary to search the recipe...pasta with 4 cheeses. It looks to me like you need to get a trial membership to see the original recipe..but there are a lot of good recipes from that site, in case you're interested. If you just want my version (3 cheese), then you're set.

So, here's my version:

Cook 1 lb noodles. I buy the 6 pack of pasta at the warehouse club, so some version of tinier noodles such as elbow macaroni or penne. For the picture I used farfalle.

Grate: 1 c. sharp cheddar and put in large bowl with 3/4c. bleu cheese, and 1/2c Pecorino romano.

In small pan melt 1 T. butter and then add 1 T. flour. Stir the flour in and then whisk in 1 1/2 c skim milk. Stir that until the sauce comes to a boil and then continue to cook for a minute or so until it has thickened. The original recipe had cream. I cut it to half and half and am now down to all skim and it seems to work fine.

Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl with the cheeses. Add the cream sauce into the bowl and cover the bowl (I usually use a plate) and let it sit for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Transfer to a 13X 9 inch baking dish and bake about 7 minutes at 500 degrees.

Variation: If you want to add even more fat to the dish, melt some butter and mix with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Top the noodle mixture with that before putting it in the oven.

For the last step, I would recommend finding a low fat dish for the next day...because you have just eaten a big portion of the week's worth of fat!!!!

There are some recipes that are just worth the fat and calorie content. This is one of those recipes. Maybe I score some points for the broccoli?

It's creamy and tasty and so so comforting on a cool night.
A favorite!

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