Monday, October 26, 2009

#11 Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This recipe is really the mother of all basic macaroni & cheese recipes. I didn't even really need to follow it as I memorized this method years and years ago and it's my go-to when I want something comforting, easy and delicious.

This recipe was found in this months Everyday Food (October 2009).

3 T unsalted butter
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1/3 c all-purpose flour
coarse salt
4 c whole milk
1/8 t cayenne pepper
3/4 lb small shell pasta (I used medium) or elbow macaroni
4 c coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 lb)
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 t salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale and golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk, add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling. Simmer gently, stirring occassionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainly when small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.

Serves 6 not hungry people and 4 hungry.

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