23 August 2008

Macaroni Cheese, Please!

(I have posted a ton of things this morning... I am so behind... so keep reading...)

I have the best macaroni cheese recipe. I have adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe I read circa 1994, and have varied it over the years, but it's always been a favorite. And, it's light. Which means I can eat the whole pan. (Okay, it doesn't really mean that, but I love it anyway.)

For this version, I stole an idea from Otto's staff dinner, and used orecchiette pasta. And it was amazing.

The recipe I used is as follows:

Light Mac-n-Cheese

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
some cheddar cheese, preferably old (this is a 'to taste' situation)
1 tbsp goat cheese
cooked pasta of your choosing
bread crumbs (I like the italian seasoned ones)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour one cup of milk into a measuring cup and add the flour. Whisk together.
Pour mixture into the saucepan, and add the remaining milk.
Whisk fairly continuously over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until it's thickened.
Put in the cheese, and whisk whisk whisk until it's all melted.
Mix in the pasta and tip into a sprayed pan of your choosing. (This is where it gets tricky. I like to use a pan that is fairly deeper and not too wide because the mac stays creamier. But it's a personal preference sorta thing.)
Dust on the bread crumbs, bake for about 20 minutes or so, and then put under broiler for a few minutes to toast the crumbs. ENJOY!

You can vary this in a lot of different ways. You can add tomatoes with great success, turkey sausage, chorizo, chopped up cooked chicken or ham, and so on. You can also vary the cheese. But because you use skim milk, no butter for the bechamel, and stronger cheese, it stays pretty low-fat. I've also made this with spelt, rice or whole wheat pasta, and it's always great.

I hope you try it. It's really a delicious thing to make, and it makes amazing leftovers.

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