Friday, August 6, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

Don't be afraid to make this casserole in advance because it tastes just as good reheated. Also feel free to experiment with other cheeses.

(serves a crowd)

1 medium onion
4 c milk
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese
half of a baguette
6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbs flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb macaroni elbows
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano (or other grating cheese)
2 Tbs olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of salted pasta water to boil.

2. Finely dice the onion. Heat the milk in the microwave until warm. Grate the cheddar. Chop the baguette in a food processor to make about two cups of breadcrumbs.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter  over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion softens, about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour darkens, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Switching to a whisk and raising the heat to medium, add the milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly to form a white sauce. Let the sauce come to a bare simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer.

5. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and transfer to a 9- by 13-inch Pyrex baking dish.

6. Add the grated cheddar to the white sauce, stirring until the cheese melts. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and toss to combine.

7. Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and combine it in a medium bowl with the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle this topping over the macaroni.

8. Bake the casserole in the center of the oven until the topping turns golden, about 15 minutes. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

• If you like, you can add a dried herb such as thyme or rosemary to the breadcrumb topping.

1 comment:

  1. Made this lovely dish on Sunday - and licked the bowl clean. Thanks David!