Monday, February 27, 2012

Seriously Good Mac & Cheese


It rained cats and dogs today which means kids are going to ask for  a dinner of mac and cheese.  I've been making the same recipe for 10 years now, but tonight I decided to do something different, which is a little risky because you never know what kids will do when you change up their favorite food.  This is what I came up with.  Be warned - it is not diet friendly. :)   Surprisingly, everyone LOVED it, so much so, that it's unanimous that this is our new favorite.  I had to write the recipe down immediately so I don't forget what I did.    The secret, is Dublinger Cheese.  If you've never tried Dublinger cheese, it has the flavor of sharp cheddar, swiss and parmesan all rolled into one.  It's delicious.  But, if you don't want to risk it, just use sharp cheddar instead.

One more thing, don't try feeding this to little kids.  If it doesn't come from a blue box, they won't eat it.

1 pound box dried pasta, I use Barilla medium shells
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 shot of Tobasco sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups grated Dublinger Irish Cheese
(You can find it with the gourmet cheeses in the deli section of the grocery store)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1 cup to sprinkle over the top of the dish)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain thoroughly.
Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the cube of butter.
Add the flour.
Continually whisk the flour/butter mixture for 1 minute.
Increase the temperature to medium/high.
Add the milk, and continue whisking until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a sauce.
Add the nutmeg, mustard, tabasco, salt, pepper, and cheeses,
 and continue to whisk until the cheese is thoroughly blended into the sauce.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
Add the pasta.
Pour the sauce over the pasta.
With a large spoon, mix the pasta and the sauce together and spread evenly in the pan.
Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.

Combine the bread crumbs and the melted butter.
 Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni.

Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Serve with your favorite salad.

Serves 6 to 8.