Monday, October 15, 2007

The challenge

Jolene recently asked about a mac and cheese recipe. Now I love a good mac and cheese but it is something I have rarely tried to make. At best, mine has been mediocre. Because I've had some fantastic mac and cheese over the years. So after Jolene's question, I felt the need finally to master a decent mac and cheese. Besides, when I went into Trader Joe's last week, they were all out of mac and cheese in the frozen food section. (Thank you, Heather B., for introducing me to that yummy dish.)

I have found that mac and cheese recipes fall into two categories. The first has you layer the pasta with grated cheese and then pour a mixture of milk, eggs, and spices over it before baking. The second has you mix the pasta with a cheese sauce and then bake.

And then there's that one special person, my dad's cousin. When she makes mac and cheese for holidays, there are never any leftovers no matter how large the pan. Her secret? She layers the noodles with grated cheese and then pours a cheese sauce over it. Hers has all cheddar but I decided to play around with it. This might have something to do with the fact that I didn't think I had enough cheddar around for the attempt.

My mac and cheese.

I buttered the casserole and then dusted it with grated parmesan cheese. I then alternated the layers of pasta with a cheese mixture. The cheeses in the mix were medium cheddar and mozzarella, with a little dusting of parmesan on top. I then topped it off with a cheese sauce made with sharp cheddar and baked for 30 minutes or so.

Served up with leftover greens from my mom, eggplant, and rosemary chicken from Poulet.

The end result? Finally a homemade mac and cheese that I truly love. Thanks for the push, Jolene.

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