Monday, August 30, 2010


Mac and Cheese screams comfort food and can also serve as the base on which to build a really delicious casserole.  While there are many recipes for it I was never satisfied, some where dry, some runny or glupy and grainy . So I read allot and tried many recipes I could not find one that gave me complete satisfaction. Gleaning ideas from different recipes I developed my own that is almost as easy to fix as the dreaded blue box.
The key to a good Mac And Cheese lies the cheese sauce its self. This one is silky smooth rich and cheesy and can be used equally well in either a baked or stove top preparation. Not all pasta shapes lend themselves to a good Mac & Cheese.Those that do will have a hole in the middle and ridges on the exterior to allow the cheese to flow through and cling to the outside. Good shapes are Penne, Rigatoni, Shells,  Elbow with ridges and my favorite Cavatappi.

Prep Time: 10 min.          Cook time: 36 min.


 Cheese Sauce

3 cups hot water
2 tbl all purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg well beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Colby/Jack grated
*1/4 lb Cheddar cut into 1/2" cubes

3 qrts. water
3 tbl Kosher Salt
3/4 pound pasta
*1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

large mixing bowl, 4 quart pot, measuring cup & spoons, 13X9X2 Glass baking dish, cooking spray, colander.

 Spray the inside of the baking dish with the cooking spray set aside.

In the 4 qrt  pan bring 3 qrts water to a boil add salt and pasta give a stir and reduce heat to med hi. Cook pasta about 6 min. and drain, do not rinse.

 In a large mixing bowl combine flour,milk powder, salt both peppers. Whisk together then  slowly whisk in the hot water,sour cream, Parmesan, Worcestershire, beaten egg, fold in the Colby/Jack.

Add pasta to cheese sauce stir to coat (add additional ingredients now if desired such as:chunks of ham,tuna, peas, bacon bits, roasted red peppers...) pour into baking dish. Push the cheddar cheese cubes randomly into the mac and cheese. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the the top and give an even coat of the cooking spray. Bake is a preheated oven at 400º F for 30 min. cool 15 min.
 Serve with a tossed salad or a cup of tomato soup.
* omit for stove top preparation

Stove top directions:
 Cook pasta and prepare cheese sauce as above. Drain pasta and return to pan over med low heat.add the cheese sauce  stirring constantly until sauce thickens and the cheese melts about 5 min. and serve.

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