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Old-Fashioned Mac and Cheese Recipe

Saturday, September 13, 2008 | Labels: , , , , |

Everyone loves a good, hearty bowl of hot Mac 'n' Cheese right? This popular American dish was purportedly introduced to Italy by the famous explorer Marco Polo and later made its way into the United States by the early 19th century. I know my forte is more Asian food but it is always fun to try out new recipes right? Apart from trying out recipes of different cultures, one will always learn something new, for example, today I learnt that cheddar cheese actually originated in a small English town, aptly named Cheddar!

To be honest, this is the first time I'm making mac and cheese the 'proper' way, most of the time I've only had it out of a box unless I order it at a restaurant! As most of my readers will know, most of my recipes are quick and simple - this dish requires a little more preparation time and baking time alone takes about 40 minutes. The onion and garlic used in this recipe really add a scrumptious fragrance to every bite. However, it was well worth it and a delicious deviation from my usual, albeit yummy Asian recipes.



Recipe adapted from Savouring America by Williams & Sonoma

3 cups milk (I used reduced fat)
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small bay leaf
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
10 oz dried rotelli or any tubular shaped pasta
1/4 cup unslated butter
3 tbsps all purpose flour
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 tbsp cooking sherry
dash of pepper

1/3 cup fine dried bread crumbs
2 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Now, prepare a baking dish (about 1.5l of 1 1/2 quart) by buttering the dish lightly. Set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the milk, minced onions, garlic and bay leaf and bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat and aside.

Now, boil the pasta according to package instructions and run through cold water, draining well.

Using the same pot in which you cooked the pasta, melt the butter over medium-low heat and once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until well blended. Continue whisking while cooking until the mixture is bubbly but not browned. Slowly add the milk mixture you prepared earlier, while whisking all the while. Raise the heat to medium high and whisk constantly until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and think - this is the base for your sauce. Remove the bay leaf.

Now, add the cheddar cheese, chives, sherry, 1 1/2 tsps salt and pepper - stir until the cheese is just melted and smooth. Add the pasta and gently toss to coat evenly. This will be a good time to taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper to your liking. Spoon the pasta into the previously prepared baking dish.

Final step before placing in oven - make the topping (optional). Simply mix together the breadcrumbs, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly on top of the pasta. Bake for 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot.

Whisk constantly

Before placing in oven

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Anonymous said...

looks yummy!

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