Mac n’ Cheese + Surf n’ Turf
I grew up eating the type of Mac n’ Cheese you find in those blue cardboard boxes (guilty pleasure, I know), but I think it’s about time that I made the real thing.
This is probably the most expensive Mac n’ Cheese dish I made because I bought my cheese (white cheddar and gruyere) from a deli, but it was worth a shot! For the topping I mixed some cheese with panko bread crumbs, which made for a nice thin crust that covered this rich and creamy pasta dish.
I served the Mac n’ Cheese with pan seared beef covered in thyme and pan fried shrimp, along with broccoli. We got the beef and shrimp fresh from G’s dad, so both were very flavorful. I wish I had a grill to cook these in next time though. Next time!
Here’s the recipe for the Mac n’ Cheese:
Macaroni and Cheese
Note: I cut this recipe in half because the original recipe is way too much for two people to handle!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups milk (I used low-fat milk which worked fine)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 1/4 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 180 grams)
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 80 grams)
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 220 grams)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cups Gruyere; set cheese sauce aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
- Combine remaining cheddar cheese, Gruyere and Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of dish. Bake until browned on top, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.