Monday, November 26, 2007

Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Since the weather here has turned chilly, I have been in the mood to make comfort food. I found this menu from a past issue of Every Day Food. I'm very picky about macaroni and cheese, however, I thought this recipe comes close to a perfect 10. I loved the mix of cheeses and the fact that it was really creamy. I would probably double the sauce next time to make it even creamier. I made the two suggested side dishes of garlic roasted tomatoes and sauteed green beans and mushrooms. Both were superb. The roast tomatoes were very easy and will become a regular side dish on our dinner menus as will the green beans. I had not yet found a green bean recipe that I loved until I tried this one. Next time I make this meal, I will try the apple cinnamon upside down cake which was the recommended dessert.

Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Everyday Food, September 2007

Serves 8.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Havarti cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Muenster cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 slices white sandwich bread
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking dish (oval or 9-by-13-inch rectangle); set aside.
  2. Generously salt boiling water; add pasta. Cook, according to package instructions, until 2 minutes short of al dente. Drain pasta, and return to pot.
  3. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a small bowl; set aside for topping. Add flour and mustard powder to remaining butter in saucepan. Cook, whisking, 1 minute (do not let flour darken). Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove sauce from heat. Gradually whisk in cheeses; add Worcestershire sauce, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add sauce to pasta, and toss to combine; transfer to prepared baking dish.
  5. Place bread in food processor; pulse until very coarse crumbs form (you should have about 3 cups). Add reserved melted butter, and pulse just to moisten. Scatter crumbs over pasta in baking dish. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
  6. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. (If refrigerated, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.) Cool 5 minutes before serving
Sauteed Green Beans with Mushrooms
Source: Everyday Food, September 2007

Serves 8
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds green beans (stem ends removed), halved crosswise
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, halved
  • 2 shallots, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  1. Fill a large skillet with 1/2 inch water; bring to a boil, and salt generously. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  2. Add green beans to skillet; cover, and steam until crisp-tender, 5 to 10 minutes (time will depend on size and freshness of green beans). Transfer to ice water to cool; drain and pat dry (if making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day). Wipe skillet dry.
  3. In same skillet, heat butter over medium-high. Add mushrooms and shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 8 to 12 minutes more.
  4. Add green beans; cook just to heat through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes
Source: Everyday Food, September 2007

4 large beef-steak tomatoes (about 3 lbs), cored and halved crosswise
2 tbsp butter cut into 8 thin slices
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
course salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Place tomato halves, cut side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Dividing evenly top with garlic and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Bake tomatoes until tender about 40-45 minutes.

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