Super Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

Well, here it is. I know you all have been waiting for this recipe to complete my husband’s coke-brined fried chicken with biscuits and gravy birthday meal. ūüôā

This is the most indulgent, rich, super creamy, super cheesy macaroni and cheese ever. So much so that I could only bring myself to make one half of the original recipe. It was more than enough- especially because we ate it as a side dish! :/ It would also be a wonderful main dish with a huge green salad. (Half of the original recipe would still easily serve at least 4 people as a main dish.)

This recipe was adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics, via Smitten Kitchen.¬†HBD Mr. Brookcook! ‚̧

Yield: Serves 10+ as a side dish or 4+ as a main dish

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
  • 3 to 4 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn or cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces (I used Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane)
  • 2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups (about 9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Gruy√®re
  • 1/2 pound short pasta such as campanelle or elbow macaroni

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬įF on convection. Butter an 8×8-inch (or equivalent), 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. (I sprayed my dish with cooking oil spray instead.)
  2. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Add the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
  3. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (I warmed it in the microwave instead -one less pot to clean!) Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cups Gruyère; set the cheese sauce aside.
  6. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Gruyère on top. Sprinkle the reserved breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the grated cheeses.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes on convection (or up to 30+ minutes in a standard oven). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

Also- an update!

No ducklings yet… I guess we’ll have to welcome the goslings for now… ūüôā

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Escarole, Feta & Shrimp Pasta

When I have escarole in my CSA box, I try to make something new. It seems that the most classic use for escarole is in an Italian white bean soup, but I try to branch out. ūüėČ

This is a quick, cheesy, creamy, TERRIFIC escarole pasta dish. We loved it. The recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I used one half of a head of escarole subsidized with CSA turnip and beet greens. I also modified the proportions.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound to 1 pound short pasta, such as campanelle, farfalle, cappellacci, or gigli
  • 1 large head¬†escarole, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (I used 1/2 head escarole as well as turnip and beet greens)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic¬†cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 to 1 pound large¬†shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces feta, crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions.
  2. Add escarole and cook 1 minute. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
  4. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add shrimp, season with salt, and cook until opaque throughout, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add pasta mixture and scant 1/2 cup pasta water and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  7. Stir in yogurt, feta, and dill. If necessary, add more pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta. (I reserve the additional pasta water to use when reheating leftovers.)
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

One Year Ago:

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