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Flavor: Macaroni and Cheese

June 14, 2012
tags: ,

I remember, quite vividly, the summer days while my dad was working, my mom was running errands, and Zach was working at the golf course, leaving Miken and Whitney at home to take care of me, their baby sister. I was probably in third grade, unable to do much of anything independently, but they were always there to help. That’s just the way they are. Patient, understanding and always willing to help. I am sure there are times they were annoyed with me, but rarely did they let me see that side.

When Whitney would ask me what I wanted for lunch, I always said one of two things: peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese. She always opted for Mac and Cheese. The problem lied in the taste preference. I wanted Kraft and it seemed their sophisticated tastes always wanted Velveeta. What ever the decision ended up being, I would sit on the dining room carpet waiting for the water to boil in excruciating hunger thinking: this takes too long. But it was worth it, every time.

And while I am still not too mature for Kraft or Velveeta, I made some homemade M&C with true patience. (Taught to me by my sister.)

Macaroni and Cheese
1 onion
1 bay leaf (or any fresh herd leaf)
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
12 oz macaroni (or any pasta)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
7 oz sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz parmesan cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
nutmeg, for grating (optional)
4 ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper

1. Begin boiling water as directed on pasta label. While it’s heating, begin the sauce. Cut the onion into a pan with the bay leaf and the milk. Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the small bubbles start to creep up the sides of the pan and pop, remove the pan from the heat. Let the onions, milk, and bay leaf infuse for at least 10 minutes (the longer the better for a deeper flavor).

2. Add the salt and pasta to the water, then add the macaroni. Return to boil, stir once, then cook for 8 minutes. (Pasta should be undercooked.) Reserve a cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

3. Once the milk has infused, remove the onion and bay leaf with a slotted spoon. Add the butter and sift in the flour.

4. Cook over medium heat whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce comes to a boil and is thickened and smooth. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grate the cheddar and parmesan cheese. (Tip: grate the cheese before you begin as a prep, making the process smoother.)

5. Stir this mustard, 1/4 tsp of grated nutmeg, and two-thirds of the cheddar and parmesan cheeses into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the pasta has stuck together, pour the reserved cup of water into the colander, then stir to loosen. Pout the pasta into a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta, and stir well.

6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the macaroni, then slice the tomatoes and place them on top. Season (again) with salt and pepper.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.

*This recipe is from the cookbook “What to Cook and How to Cook It”.

bestm&cever. bestcookbookever.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. sara sklenka permalink
    June 14, 2012 10:14 pm

    Kraft all the way.

    • Zach permalink
      June 15, 2012 4:41 am

      dude, kraft – and this is awesome. is this what you had to “get off the phone for?”

      • June 15, 2012 1:39 pm

        Ha, I wish I cooked this last night! But just the leftovers (which are also amazing). I’m still a Kraft lover too!!

  2. Whitney Breanne permalink
    June 15, 2012 1:03 pm

    Your Patience was tested for this one….. Looks yummy! LOVE YOU SISSY!

  3. Miken permalink
    June 16, 2012 2:03 am

    ummm no M&C made with powder cheese is real M&C…valveeta all the way 🙂 and being only 1.5 yrs older than you i was prolly sitting on the carpet waiting for whit to make it too (i still do). we have a great big sissy!!!


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