Mac and Cheese
Attention: This is not your ordinary mac and cheese. Not one of those open the boxes and mix milk either. It’s the kind of dish that sets you apart from the Kraft or Velveeta. I make mac and cheese every day at work and 3 years later, I am not sick of it. The smiles I have put on people’s faces over the years. Mac and cheese is astonishing to me. It’s the simplest yet complex dishes you will make.
Let me explain why, from the pasta you choose to the garnish. Mac and cheese is comfort at its best. I went with the wagon wheel pasta. Italian driven cheeses and finished in the oven with a panko crust. I started out by making one of the five mother sauces. Béchamel. This is a white sauce that can be used for all sorts of dishes and I highly recommend making all the mother sauces at some point in your life. Back to the topic at hand. Adding cheeses to the béchamel creates a French sauce called Mornay. This is the foundation for making restaurant quality mac and cheese. From here you want to get that stringy cheese look that mac and cheese is so famous for. Coating the pasta with extra shredded cheese before you bake it will give it that effect. I give it that panko crust before serving it because I want texture. A different feeling in your mouth than just cheese and pasta. A crunch you might say. I love it.
This recipe is good for two people. Sometimes three. Depends really on your appetite. Find the time needed to make this homemade dish. Nothing compares. I promise.
- 1/8 cup Butter
- ¼ cup Flour
- 2 cups Heavy cream
- 2 cups Pasta
- 2 cups Shredded cheese
- ¼ cup Shredded parmesan
- 1/8 cup Japanese panko
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 4 cups Water
- 2 Small pots
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Bring the water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente (taste one, careful not to burn yourself. If they are soft but not mushy. It’s al dente)
- Strain the pasta and set aside
- In the other small pot melt your butter.
- Add your flour to create a Roux. Whisk this mixture continuously over a medium heat, careful not to burn.
- The roux should look like wet sand. Add your heavy cream and stir until the béchamel is forming. (Mixture will thicken)
- Add your cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Turn off stove top and set aside.
- Take a mixing bowl and mix 1 Cup of shredded cheese and pasta.
- Add your cheese sauce to the pasta and cheese and mix until evenly coated.
- In a small casserole dish add the mac and cheese and bake at 350 for 20 mins covered.
- Uncover the mac and cheese. Then sprinkle the panko and parmesan on top. Return to the oven uncovered and bake for another 10 mins or until the panko has taken a golden color.
I like to garnish with a fresh herb, like chives or herbs de Provence. It gives the dish a little color. Try to use different cheeses for different flavors. Experiment. This is a basic recipe that is open for interpretation with ingredients. Please share your creations, fails and success stories with us on Twitter and Instagram @HeavenlyEating. Share and Like us on Facebook. Snapchat us @heavenlyeatchat. From all of us at Heavenly Eating, keep cooking.