Monday, September 17, 2012

While the Cat's Away.....

Saturday night my husband was out of town, so I took the opportunity to cook something that he wouldn't eat in a million years:  mac and cheese.  Olie hates dairy.  Me on the other hand, I could eat strictly dairy products for the rest of my life.  But then I would be really fat and have some kind of terrible vitamin deficiency.  But I would die happy!  Anyway, I decided to buy some fancy cheeses from the fancy cheese aisle.  I also decided to treat myself with a bottle of wine.  Wine is something I really love, but I know absolutely nothing about.  I know that you drink it and it tastes good.  So I just bought Yellow Tail, because I got intimidated by all of the choices.  I kind of feel the same way about cheese.  I love cheese, but I don't know much about fancy cheeses or which cheese goes with what.  I always just stick with my tried and true cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, basically anything that is shredded and in a bag).  So I just kind of chose at random.  I bought some gruyere and some white cheddar.  They were both delicious and even more so in my mac.   
My recipe was really simple.  I just took about a cup of milk, a tablespoon of butter, and a tablespoon of flour and heated that up on the stove on a low temperature.  I shredded the cheese (judging from the picture, that was about 12 ounces, which is a pretty hefty amount) and added that to the hot milk mixture and stirred until it got all good and melty.  I added the pasta to this mixture.  Here is where I think you should use a bit of guesswork.  I only used about half the bag of macaroni noodles, so don't just dump all of your noodles into the cheese sauce all at once.  Add them in small-ish increments.  You want the mixture to be pretty gooey and liquidy.  Then I added some peas.  Peas and mac and cheese were made for each other.  The mac is really salty and the peas offer a nice little sweet pop.  Throw this all in a baking pan, top it with some more cheese (and some breadcrumbs if you've got them) and bake it on 500 degrees til it starts to brown.  Keep an eye on it.  This took a while in my oven, but it will happen pretty fast in others.

Look at how delicious that looks!  I was really please with the texture: soft and melty and gooey on the inside and crispy on the top.  Be sure to add the peas!  They totally make it.  

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