This past weekend I worked a catering event in West Haven for a bunch of people around college age. One of the few things made for this event was homemade baked mac and cheese. It was a huge hit. I thought this topic would be a great starting out point for a first blog entry because of the simplicity of the recipe plus the fact that baked mac and cheese is a very common and effective comfort food.
For this recipe you will need:
- 1 lbs Elbow macaroni
- 1 tsp Dry mustard
- A dash or two of Tobasco Sauce
- 1 lbs Grated cheddar cheese
- Bread crumbs (as needed)
- Dash of Paprika
- 1 qt Bechamel Sauce (recipe below)
You will need:
- 2 oz Clarified butter or canola oil
- 2 oz Bread or all purpose flour
- 1 qt. Milk
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Small peeled whole onion
- 2 whole cloves
- Salt, nutmeg, and white pepper to taste
- Heat the butter or oil in a heavy saucepot over low heat.
- Slowly add the flour to the oil and stir to make a white roux
- Gradually add the milk to the beat while whisking contantly
- Bring sauce to a boil while still stirring and then reduce the heat to a simmer
- Cut the onion into four pieces. Take one 1/4 of the onion and attach the bay leaf to it by using the whole cloves as push pins
- Let simmer for a minimum of 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 30 minutes or more is preferable. You will know it is done when the sauce will evenly coat the back of a spoon.
- Season lightly with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg
- Keep warm
- Cook the macaroni in hot water, drain, and rinse in cold water
- Add the dry mustard and tobasco sauce to the bechemel
- Mix the macaroni with the cheddar cheese and combine it with the bechemel
- Pour macaroni and cheese into a deep, buttered, oven safe pan or dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and paprika.
- Bake at 350 F until a nice golden brown crust has formed. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes