Monday, May 16, 2011

Mac and Cheese

Last fall Meg raved about this amazing mac and cheese that someone had made for one of her baby showers. I told her she needed get me the recipe! She finally got it from her friend about 2 months ago and I was so excited to make it. I asked my neighbor, Clare, if she wanted to come over and make dinner with me then I would share it with her and her fiancée. Of course she accepted and we had a very fun evening making dinner! Before we started cooking I told Clare about a Coconut beer that I'd at a bar the night before. We wanted to find it so we ventured to our Cap'n'Cork next to our apartments and there it was! This beer is very good, it almost has a chocolate taste.

WOWZA! Mac and Cheese!
1 box Shells
6 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp dry mustard
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese
3 oz jack cheese
3 oz blue cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

The secret to making this an easy recipe is to do all the work before you start cooking. Grate the cheese, measure out the ingredients and have it all ready to pour in when you start cooking. It helps to have a friend over who is willing to do the grating (they want mind if you are going to share)! Thanks Clare, you did an awesome job! 
All ingredients are measured out and ready to go. Start to cook your pasta! Preheat oven to 375.
Start by melting 3 Tbsp of butter in a saucepan. Also, heat milk on saucepan until just about to boil then remove from heat.
Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of flour and stir until blended.

Stir in warmed milk and add bay leaf.
Stir constantly until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and use a wire whisk to mix in dry mustard, paprika, salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.
Mix cheddar and jack in a bowl.
Reserve about 3-4 Tbsp of cheddar and jack cheese.
Begin to stir in the cheddar and jack mix and the blue cheese a little at a time until all is melted.
You should not need to put the sauce back on the heat, but if it isn't melting you can put it on low heat.
Sprinkle about half of the reserved cheese on the bottom of a sprayed pan.
Melt butter in a pan and stir in breadcrumbs. Cook while stirring until toasted.
Cook while stirring until toasted.

Cook pasta until almost done, they will finish cooking in the oven. 
Pour 1/3 of pasta in the pan, followed by 1/3 of sauce, repeat twice more.
Top with remaining cheddar/jack mix, then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan over the pasta.
Bake for 20-25 mins, until bubbly!
Yum!!! I can't say it enough....YUM!

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