Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Outrageous Mac n' Cheese

Driving home form the airport (James and I grabbed a few days away in Mendocino County which turned into a virtual crab eating orgy) I mentally scanned the contents of our refrigerator thinking what I could make for James that was at once homey and special. We still have a load of delicious party leftovers and I hit on the surprising and tasty Beecher's peppered cheddar -- what a great mac n' cheese that could make. I boiled the pasta water and quickly whipped up a cheese sauce (4 Tb melted butter, and 4 tb of flour cooked whisked together over medium heat -- cooked long enough to remove the flour's raw taste, thinned with milk -- about 2 1/2 cups and a splash of heavy cream.) To the thickened sauce I added grated Marco Polo cheddar and for a mellow undertone about 1/2 cup of the buffalo milk quadrello. I stirred in about 2 tsp of finely chopped fresh sage, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne and a sprinkle of salt and mixed the sauce with the very al dente pasta (undercooked) popped it in a baking dish and sprinkled the top with more grated cheese mixed with crunchy bread crumbs and a couple slivers of butter. The casserole baked for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbly and crunchy on top. Delicious.

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