This cooking adventure is otherwise known as Mac n’ Cheese. But really, I think cheesy delicious noodles is much more descriptive.
I tried to make Mac n’ Cheese one other time…it was…eh…lack-luster. And that’s putting it nicely. It was really pretty terrible. I think that’s because the recipe was for “healthy” mac n’ cheese. And really there is no such thing – at least not in my universe. Needless to say, I have been hesitant to make mac n’ cheese ever since. But today I stumbled onto a new blog Vertigo B Cooks. She cracks me up. I love people who make me laugh out loud. Plus she posts lots of recipes and I love that!
I found this post: Macaroni and Three Cheeses
And I thought to myself…It’s 11am and I’m hungry…I would like some of this. With that thought I jumped in the car, headed to the grocery store, and went shopping. Then I realized the store didn’t have any of the required cheeses. Hmmm…looks like I’ll raid the cheese stash in my refrigerator and use whatever is in there. Instead of cheese I bought something to compliment my lunch…chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Mature right?
Anyways, here is what I came up with:
And Oh-my-holy-cheeses…this was fantastic! Here is the recipe from Vertigo B Cooks (with my alterations in red):
Cheesy Delicious Noodles
1/2 pound medium pasta shells (I usually make a full pound, otherwise there is just too much sauce). I have also used fortified penne and even rigatoni. Use the shape you like, believe me, it won’t make a difference!
I just used 1/2 lb of penne (because that’s what I had) but I halved the following sauce recipe so there wasn’t too much leftover. My hips couldn’t handle that many leftovers.
2 3/4 cups whole milk (I used 1% because it’s what I had on hand)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/4 cups (packed) grated white cheddar cheese (8 ounces) or regular mild cheddar
3/4 cup (packed) grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 ounces) or Muenster
1/2 cup (packed) grated Fontina cheese (about 3 ounces) or Colby Jack
6 Tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or regular breadcrumbs
Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Meanwhile, bring milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. When butter foams, add flour. Stir until pale golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in hot milk. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbling, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Add cheeses and stir until melted and smooth.
Preheat boiler. Add pasta to cheese sauce and toss to coat.
Divide pasta mixture between six 1 1/4-cup custard cups (or in a casserole). Sprinkle with breadcrumbs also add some parmesan cheese, because you can. Broil until crumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve.
This is probably much better the way it was intended…but a girl has to do what she has to do right? It was fabulous and I highly encourage you to make this one ASAP!