There’s Only Two Weeks Left To Make Macaroni and Cheese

If you live in Boston, I’ll assume you are just as miserable as me due to the horrific weather that has taken over our lives. If you live in the city, like me, you can’t move your car or you’ll get in a fight over a parking spot when you return, you can’t walk your dog without his paws hurting or his legs getting covered/splashed in mud, you don’t want to exercise, you certainly don’t want to eat healthy… you get the point. Miserable.

Well, the good news is, spring is only 15 days away. Mark your calendars… March 20th is the day! And I have a rule when it comes to food and spring time: No more fatty cooking. What does that mean? It means if you want to be on board with this plan, you have less than two weeks to make macaroni and cheese.

So lets not waste anymore time.

1 lb. Pasta elbow, spiral or anything with lines
4 C Milk
4 T Flour
4 T Butter
1 Onion small, diced
4 Garlic Cloves chopped
1/4 lb. American Cheese
1/4 lb. Cheddar Cheese
1/4 lb. Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 lb. Gruyer Cheese
1 t Nutmeg ground (fresh if possible)
1/4 C Parmesan
2 C Breadcrumbs
4 T Butter melted
1/4 C Parsley fresh, chopped
Salt and Pepper

First, lets talk macaroni. I HIGHLY suggest using any dry pasta that has lines in it: Ziti with lines, rigatoni with lines, spiral pasta with lines, etc. Why? Because the cheese sauce will stick to the inside of the lines and hold up much better than any pasta without lines. To take it one step further, I HIGHLY suggest spiral pasta. And yes, you can buy spiral pasta with lines… Double score! Also, there is NO need to use fresh pasta. Don’t spend the money, don’t waste the money, just don’t even go there. Period.

In a sauce pan, saute the onions and garlic in the 4T of butter until the onions are soft. Note: don’t omit the onions and garlic… they are the base of this sauce and they are giving you a base of flavor to build off. So… just do it. Once the onions are somewhat soft, add the flour. Stir. Cook the flour mixture by constantly stirring over medium heat for at least two minutes. Do not let the flour turn brown! Once it starts to change color, take the pot off the heat and add the milk.

So yes, add the milk. Over HIGH heat, bring this to a boil. You have just created one of the five mother sauces, béchamel.

Béchamel sauce
 also known as white sauce, is made from a roux (butter and flour) and milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine and Italian cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces (such as Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese).

Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper… about a teaspoon of each. Taste! Yum, right? And to think we haven’t even added the cheese yet!

You MUST bring this to a boil so it can reach it’s full thick consistency. Once it covers a wooden spoon, add the cheese, minus the parmesan. Stir and cook over low heat until all the cheese has melted.

Bring your pasta to a boil (in well-salted oil) as well and cook until it is al dente. The pasta is gong to cook in the oven a second time, so make sure you do not overcook the pasta or it’ll be way to soft and gooey.

Melt the other 4T of butter. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Drizzle in the butter and completely coat the breadcrumbs.

Fill a 13″ casserole dish with the cooked pasta… and follow by pouring in the cheese sauce. Make sure all of the pasta is coated with the cheese sauce! Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with the buttered breadcrumbs.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the breadcrumbs have turned a light brown.

Easy! Now hurry up… you have 15 days to make this! The clock is ticking.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Clams Casino
Lemon Chicken
Stuffed Baby Eggplant
Tomato & Ginger Soup
And much more…

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