Brrrrrrrr……. Cold weather calls for comfort foods, something piping hot and bubbly…..nothing says comfort like baked macaroni and cheese. In today’s class we will learn to make a cheese sauce, we have already made the classic white sauce, so this will just be another variation on that theme. The secret to a good cheese sauce is of course the cheese you use. I like to combine a few varieties of cheese to come up with a sure winner. Cheddar of course will have the spotlight, the sharper the better and I like the yellow variety to give it that colour we have all come to know and love . Monterrey Jack or a Colby make a great addition to the sauce as well. For a little added flavor and some much needed salt, I like to add some grated Romano to give it just the right balance of flavors.
Now depending on my mood or what cheese I might have on hand, you may find a Bleu Cheese, Gorgonzola, Swiss or Gruyere in the sauce. So here is today’s recipe for Mac and Cheese, lets get started.
Macaroni and Cheese
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
2 cups of water (use all milk if you like)
2 cups of milk
12-16 oz of cheese (shredded or chopped)
1/2 cup of grated Romano
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb of Pasta (mini rigatoni or medium shells) cooked aldente’
the first thing you want to do is melt your butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan and add in your flour to make a roux. you want to add just enough flour to the butter to take the shine off, do not make the roux too thick. Let the roux cook for about 5 minutes before adding hot milk.
Next add the hot milk and water to your sauce and mix very well to make sure all of the roux is mixed in well, if the sauce is too thick add additonal milk or water.
Now add your shredded or chopped cheese to the white sauce, stirring until melted. Now add your grated Romano, salt and pepper…..if the sauce is gummy or too thick add additional liquid. Mix the sauce into the pasta, and place in a baking dish and place in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly….
Don’t let the top burn!!!
if you want to add even more cheese to the top feel free, but let it cook for about 25 minutes before adding more to the top .
Great as a side dish or just by itself…sit back, relax, savour every bite and just let it warm you all over