Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Comfort Food Chapter-Baked Mac And Cheese

I love cheese. I really love cheese. And then there is pasta. Referring to Italian pasta, of course. I have never liked Asian pasta, mainly because of the alkaline aftertaste and the texture. Italian pasta, on the other hand, has none of the aftertaste and usually have a body which produces a good bite and chewiness to it. Having said that, I discovered 2 years ago an import from Korea, the Nong Shim's instant noodle. That thing is awesome. If only I have grew up on Korean noodles instead.

Lamenting aside, the chill in New England has almost reach the point of unbearable. It is disgustingly cold that it makes us long for a warm, bright, sunny, summer. Sigh*

This is when comfort food fills the void created by the horrendous winter. Pasta and Cheese, can anything get better than this?

And no, I do not use Kraft singles cheddar for the cheese used in this recipe. It has to be shredded bar cheese in order to achieve the creamy, cheesy, milky texture which is the highlight of any good mac-n-cheese. Some restaurants even incorporate blue cheese in their recipe, but that is another post.

Baked Mac-N-Cheese
1/2 lb of macaroni (about 250 gram)
2 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoon flour
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of chicken broth or water
6 oz of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
6 oz of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

1. Bring about 8 cups of water to boil. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook macaroni for 8 mins, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander, set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter in olive oil over low heat. Stir in onion and cook till translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1 min. Add in the mustard powder and cook for a few seconds.
3. Next, add in the flour and cook till flour is blonde in color, about 4-5 mins. Ensure that there is enough oil to cook flour in. Avoid flour from clumping. If need be, add another tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Using a whisk, whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Whisk vigorously to ensure that sauce is free of lumps. Turn heat up to medium high. Add in bay leaf and continue to whisk till mixture comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.
5.Turn off heat and place saucepan away from the heat source. Remove bay leaf. Whisk in 3/4 of the cheese mixture into the sauce, reserving a 1/4 cup of cheese for topping.
6. Once all cheese has been fully incorporated into the sauce, stir in cooked macaroni. Mix well.
7. Preheat oven to 350F or 177C.
8. Place macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish. Place baking dish onto a baking sheet. Sauce may ooze out of dish during baking process. Top with remaining cheese.
10. Bake for 30 mins till sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown on top.
11. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving, if you can resist.

No comments:

Post a Comment