Mac and Cheese

Recently Sarah Shaker, of the blog Bright Lights, My city, posted a review of Mac Bar and also asked me via twitter what my favorite comfort was.  My easy answer was meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans.  But I do love mac and cheese.  Before I moved to NYC I had a slight addiction to Wegmans boxed version.  High quality mac and cheese? Certainly not. Guilty pleasure? Sure is.

It’s been years since I made mac and cheese at home.  Just recently I purchased a couple small cast iron skillets which would be perfect for individual mac and cheese meals.  I’ll admit, my meal tonight was made in a dutch oven, but I did serve it them.  When I do reheat the mac, Ill do it in those skillets.  Hope you enjoy, this recipe is courtesy of Mark Bittman.

Serves 4-6
Printable Version

1 pound pasta, elbow, shell, ziti (or your own choice)
2 1/2 cups milk (low-fat is fine too, and I even used lactose free)
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, sharp cheddar or similar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs (fresh or store bought if necessary)

Preheat oven to 400.  Bring a large of water to boil, seasoned well with salt.

Cook milk, with bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  When small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the milk, about 5 minutes, remove from heat.

Cook pasta about 2-3 minutes less than the directions on the box say, until very al dente. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain well and place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter starts to foam, add flour and whisk to mix.  Cook, stirring regularly, for about 4-5 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Remove bay leaves from milk and add about 1/4 cup to butter/flour mixture. Whisk well and once it becomes smooth, add a little more milk at a time, whisking, almost like making risotto.  Once milk has been added, mix in cheddar cheese.

Pour sauce over pasta and mix.  Add Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 baking pan (dutch oven works too).  Top with bread crumbs and cook 15-17 minutes, or until bubbling and browned.  Serve hot. Enjoy!!

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
This entry was posted in main course, pasta, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Mac and Cheese

  1. says:

    excellent meal! I love it!!! slurp! 😀

  2. Thank you.

    I hope to post a recipe for meatloaf soon, as I mentioned that as a favorite…

  3. Andi says:

    How was it just with the cheddar?? I’m still trying to perfect the cheese selection. We just made one with Gruyere, white cheddar, Fontina and Parmesan. It was alright, but that Gruyere might need to go.

  4. It was pretty tasty. The bechamel sauce really made it creamy and rich. I have liked to try roasted red peppers and goat cheese, but I didn’t feel like roasting the peppers.

  5. Alison says:

    I think I need to make this one!

  6. Thanks for the shout out! Can not WAIT to make your recipe! YUM :)

    Looking forward to your meatloaf recipe – I’ve only ever made a weight watchers turkey meatloaf before haha

  7. No problem. I usually make turkey meatloaf as well, with a spicy tomato sauce.

  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mac and Cheese | The Carnivore and the Vegetarian --

  9. Mary A says:

    Looks tasty. Will look forward to seeing your meatloaf post too!

  10. Noelle says:

    Did I mention to you that your website looks great>????? :)

  11. Herb1419 says:

    Thursday night special at Zingerman’s is meat loaf & mashed potatoes. You won’t find me there on Thursday night.

  12. Mary says:

    Hi Evan! This looks delish! I love mac-n-cheese. Thanks for adding me to your blog roll. I’ve done the same.

  13. Sylvester says:

    I cooked these tonight on a whim, because my husband told me a while back he wanted Tuna Patties. I changed up the recipie a bit, by using 4 cans of 5oz Tuna in Oil and adding some old bay seasoning, onion powder (instead of onions), and garlic and herb seasoning. I cooked them and my husband was disappointed I didn’t make more lol. But they turned out fantastic :) I will definitely be making them again, with the additions I made.

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