Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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The picture on the cover of my new "Cover and Bake" cookbook was calling out to me. After deciding that I would make it for our meal exchange in October, I decided that I actually needed to TRY it before feeding it to four families!

No from Cook's Illustrated haven't failed me yet. And this time was no exception. I chose "Baked Macaroni and Cheese" from this cookbook, despite having about a dozen of their Mac 'n Cheese recipes to choose from (2 from this book, and many others from past issues).

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
(Cover & Bake)

<-------The ingredients.

The recipe (which I doubled, and split into three pans; one for last night, and two to freeze):

Cook until al dente: 1 pound elbow macaroni

While that is heating up/cooking, add to a large (6 qt. +) pot, and heat (on medium) until melted:
6 TB unsalted butter

Add to the butter:
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook for about 30 seconds, and add:
6 TB (3/8 C) flour

Stir constantly until golden.

Slowly whisk in, and bring to a simmer:
1 3/4 C low-sodium chicken broth
3 1/2 C whole milk

Cook until large bubbles are on the surface (about 5-8 minutes). Remove pot from heat.

Mix in:
16 oz colby cheese, shredded
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the drained pasta to the cheesy sauce, and stir until well-mixed.

Pour into a 9 x 13" baking pan and sprinkle with:
4 slices of sandwich bread, which have been crumbled in a food processor

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top, and bubbling on the edges.

To freeze: Prepare the recipe as stated above, but do not add the bread crumbs. Make sure to line the baking dish with heavy duty foil before adding the macaroni and cheese. Cover the dish and freeze overnight. When completely frozen, turn the dish upside down to remove the food/foil lining. Vacuum seal or wrap in Saran Wrap/foil and place in the freezer. Upon taking the food out of the freezer, unwrap and remove any plastic wrap. Place the foil lined food back in its original pan, and thoroughly defrost. Bring it to room temperature before placing in the oven. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs at this point.

Family/neighbor reviews: Katie said I could definitely make this again....her highest compliment. My friend, Tara, who is part of my meal exchange group, was a bit leery when I told her I was thinking of making mac 'n cheese next month. She swore no one in her family would eat it. She was so skeptical, I made sure to add, "It won't be from a box; it'll be home-made!" Still not sure, I brought a small bowl of it to her last night. Let's just say it was eaten quickly, and I was given full approval to make it for the meal exchange!


Angelina said...

You really are a gal after my own heart. Not only because you made one of my favorite dishes EVER, but you made two to freeze!

I have found Cook's Illustrated to be quite reliable too.

dg said...

It's just as easy to make three!

And Cook's Illustrated rocks! I can't believe I only discovered it last year. How the heck did I miss it all these years???