Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mac and Cheese

I have seen lots of recipes for homemade mac and cheese on various other food blogs. It really inspired me to make my own mac and cheese. I wanted it to be new and fun but still be a true mac and cheese and not a casserole. That is why I didn't add any veggies or meat to the dish. I felt it turned out ok, but my husband loved it and made me post the recipe. I think I would have loved it more if I had followed my own directions and didn't just "eyeball" it like I did. So, here is the recipe the way it should be.

What you will need:

Pasta (I used the new mini bowtie pasta)
Cheese (I used Cheddar, Colby Jack, Motzerella, Pepper Jack and Parmesian)
Celery Seed
Refrigerated Cressent Rolls

What you do:

The first thing you will do is make a rue. A rue is simply a mix of equal parts butter and flour cooked together to thicken sauce. You start this way to ensure that you don't have lumps of flour in your sauce. The best way to determine how much rue you will need is to decide how much liquid you will be adding. For my 9x13 casserole dish of mac and cheese I figured I would need about 3 cups of sauce. A good ratio is 1 tlbs. flour, 1 tlbs butter to 1 cup of liquid. So for this recipe I used 3 tlbs flour, 3 tlbs butter and 3 cups milk.

First, melt the butter in a pan. Let it get nice and bubbly. Add the flour all at once and stir it in with the butter. The flour and butter will turn into a clump. Let it cook for a minute and start to brown. The darker you let it get the more flavor it will give your sauce but the less thickening power it will have. Use your judgement on how long to cook depending on how thick you like your sauce.

Add the milk all at once and whisk until rue is incorporated. Let cook until starting to thicken. Add your cheese. You can use any mix of cheese and any ratio. I used the largest portion of cheddar. I used equal portions of motzerella, pepper jack and colby jack. Let your cheese melt until smooth.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, celery seed and paprika. Pour sauce over cooked pasta and stir well. Place pasta in casserole dish.

I wanted something different for a topping. Something besides breadcrumbs or cheese. I had a can of refrigerated crescent rolls in my fridge and I cut them into little squares. I sprinkled the dough squares over the top of the pasta and then sprinkled parmesian cheese over the dough.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until sauce is bubbly and the crescent rolls are golden brown.


NessaAnn said...

Sheesh, do you have all those kinds of cheese in your fridge? I want to come cook out of your refrigerator instead of mine! Yowza!

I'm sure Michael would go nuts over this. He's a cheese-a-holic, as is his firstborn son.

Brandy said...

I actually usually only have cheddar in my fridge. I had the motzerella leftover from a pizza meal I made and I bought the others specifically to try this meal. Although, it is kinda fun having such a variety of cheese in my fridge!

Tody said...

Ok, so I have to say that I didn't just like this Mac and Cheese, I absolutely LOVED it. I can't stand Mac and Cheese that is "fake" tasting and this had so many great things about it. The cheese of course was thick and real but the Pepper Jack gives it a kick that made me do a happy dance. Plus, the cressent roll crust on top really tied it all together.

All in all, I give this one an A + + + + + + + (a la Christmas Story)

Mary Ann said...

Yum. I love homemade Mac and Cheese. Thanks for checking out my blog- I hope some of those lunch ideas work for you!

Lisa said...

Nice blog! What agreat idea on the crescent rolls.