Monday, March 4, 2013
martha's mac and cheese
I'm sure you've heard about it. This is the stuff legends are made of.
I still remember my mom making Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese for the first time. I was in high school, and had some friends over to study for some test we had the next day. In the next room, my mom (who is, if you haven't figured it out from my gushing about her before, the best home cook I have ever known) was whipping this up for us. When she came in the room and served us big bowls of the best mac and cheese EVER, it was over. No more studying; it was food coma time.
There are so many different recipes for mac and cheese out there. I love trying creative twists (like this one!). But this recipe really just is the best. It's creamy and cheesy and classic.
You haven't tried it yet? Well then it's food coma time.
Disclaimer: This makes a ridiculous amount of mac and cheese. The recipe says it makes 12 servings, and it really does...maybe more. I've halved the recipe before and it still makes enough to feed an army. NOT that this is a bad thing. Just wanted ya to know.
Martha's Mac and Cheese (adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook)
1 stick unsalted butter
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
5 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup AP flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lb. macaroni
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread and toss. Set aside.
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Pecorino. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni until just under al dente (about 1 minute under what the package directions call for). Drain macaroni in a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Pour the mixture into a prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar, 1/4 cup Pecorino, and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
You can't go wrong with this. Just do it!