Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Double G Mac and Cheese

Since I have been in Phoenix I have helped burp, rock, and change the diapers of 3 babies, 2 of which didn't enjoy it all that much and the other smiled and spoke gibberish the whole time. We had fun, snuggled, and partied ALL night long. Well, I didn't, but Mommy and the twins and whoever else drew the short straw partied like rock stars every two hours or so.
Since I didn't get up as much at night, you can probably guess what most of my duties fell to....I cooked and baked for 3 days. It pretty much went like this:
I asked my Sister what she wanted me to make. To which she replied with whatever she had a taste for and then I would venture to the grocery store for whatever ingredients that weren't on hand.

Some people might see this as a form of torture, but this is my form of heaven. The grocery stores in Scottsdale, AZ are not typical by any means. They have all the fun stuff and ingredients that you don't necessarily get your hands on in Illinois. Heck, the grocery store I went to even has a Starbucks inside. I could spend hours just looking through the grocery store's cool ingredients and dreaming up new things to make.

One evening my Sister asked me to make Macaroni and Cheese and since I have a really yummy recipe that I don't get to use very often, I was elated to do so. The reason I do not make it very often is because it is not a low calorie dish by any means, in fact I jokingly call it a "heart attack on a plate". I figured since she is breast feeding TWO babies and needs the extra calories, it was a great chance to use it. So, I am not telling you to eat this everyday or even once a week, but if you want something that will be a huge crowd pleaser for a carry-in or something really delicious for a special holiday, this is your recipe. I now give you...

First, let me say that this recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa because, let's face it, she's awesome. I changed a few things around and made it my own.

Cook one box of elbow macaroni until al dente by following the package directions. Don't forget to salt your pasta water! In the meantime..

Grate 12 ounces of Gruyere and 8 ounces of Gouda cheese and set aside. ..and now you probably understand the name of this recipe.

In a large sauce pan, melt 4 TBSP. of butter on medium heat. Add in a 1/2 cup of AP flour and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. This will cook the "flour" taste out of the roux you just made.

Then, slowly add in 1 quart of hot whole milk ( I heat mine in the microwave), whisking the whole time to incorporate the flour mixture and milk together until smooth. Let the whole mixture heat up and thicken a little but do not let it simmer.

Now, add in your cheese a handful at a time waiting until the previous handful melts until you add another. Stir constantly until you have a smooth cheesy sauce. At this point I taste my sauce and add salt to taste. This is very important! There's not much worse, in my opinion, than bland Mac & Cheese, Blah!

Add in your drained pasta and mix together. Put the whole mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and mix it together with 1 1/2 cups of italian bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the Mac & Cheese. Pop it into a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes and there you have it. So yummy, so dangerous, but oh so worth it!


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