Those who know me best, know I don't mess around when it comes to pasta. You'd think I was a permanently pregnant women with the types of cravings I get. My senior year of University I can confidently tell you that I ate spaghetti four to five times a week. With an NCAA schedule and full course load, pasta was easy, cheap and so so delicious to eat for lunch and dinner any time I felt like it. These days, I certainly still eat my fair share of pasta but of course within reason. If I'm going to eat some mac and cheese it's gotta be good! With that being said, I share with you, a pretty yummy and gourmet tasting dish that any mac and cheese lover would put their stamp of approval on. Does the photo by Michael Kohn not do any justice for the recipe?
Cheddary Mac and Cheese
from House and Home
1-1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
veggie or olive oil
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (extra-old)
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp good-quality sherry
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
Use chopped cooked bacon, caramelized onions, breadcrumbs and crumbled blue cheese for the toppings. Sprinkle on top and bake according to the recipe directions.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cook macaroni is a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with a drizzle of oil. In a medium saucepan. simmer cream, white wine, garlic and bay leaf until mixture is reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Discard garlic and bay leaf; set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and cook onion for about 10 minutes or until it begins to turn golden. Stir in flour until blended; cook for one minute stirring. Gradually whisk in cream mixture, milk, cheeses, sherry, mustard, salt and peppers until smooth; bring to a boil, whisking frequently until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Stir in cooked macaroni. To bake, pour into a buttered 8 inch square baking dish. Top with breadcrumb topping, if using and add in any other desired toppings. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Macaroni can be prepared ahead, cover and refrigerated for up to one day. Just add 10 minutes to baking time. Enjoy!