It was a beautiful late summer day, so we decided to take advantage of the sunshine, by painting outside.
The rascals were still in a crafty mood after painting, but I wasn't interested in any more clean-up-heavy activities so I got out the PlayMais.
|Mommy helped with these.|
I'll warn you now. If you are looking for a quick recipe to make for dinner this is not the one. Grating the cheese alone takes longer than making KD! This is also not a budget saving recipe. I think mine used about $15 worth of cheese alone. I'm a cheese snob though. Judge me if you must.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
- 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces (I used half a day-old baguette)
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (I love the cayenne in this recipe! Don't leave it out!)
- 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces) (I use both...I also used about a cup of grated mozzarella that we had left over from making pizza)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (I use more than a pound....probably more like 1.5 pounds)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. (I skip this step) Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
- Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
- Pour mixture into prepared dish.
I love using these mini casserole dishes and the rascals love picking their colours.
This one went into the freezer for another day.
This recipe doesn't disappoint, so if you have the time and the cheese I suggest you try it. I've also added veggies (broccoli, peas etc) from time to time, and you wouldn't be crazy if you threw a little bacon in there too. Mmmmmm.....bacon. Enjoy!P.S. Here's my little photographer/food stylist getting a good shot on her own camera.