National Mac and Cheese Day

June 30, 2017 — Leave a comment

July 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day.  Did you know there was a National Mac and Cheese Day?  I didn’t, but what a delicious comfort food to celebrate – especially for those Preggers mamas.  Is anyone out there craving Mac and Cheese?  Below are some scrumptious recipes to help satisfy those cravings.  Make some now and enjoy OR save it for National Mac and Cheese Day!

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Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of fusilli or other short pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded gruyere cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk.  Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere.  Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce.  Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar.  Bake 15 minutes.

So, that’s a classic baked Mac and Cheese, but sometimes you want something a little more reminiscent of your childhood.  So, here is an American Mac and Cheese recipe.

***

American Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups grated mild yellow cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup diced processed cheese, such as Velveeta
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne and cook, whisking, 1 minute.  Whisk in the evaporated milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheeses, then the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce.  Season with salt and black pepper.

***

The website www.foodnetwork .com/recipes/articles/50-mac-and-cheese-recipes takes these two basic recipes and details how to jazz them up a little bit.  With varieties including French Style, Barbecue Style and Bacon Chipotle, there’s really something for most tastes.

These sound delicious and I truly love Mac and Cheese. I’ve kind become a Mac and Cheese snob of sorts.  I prefer unique and delicious additions to your typical Mac and Cheese.  This recipe from www.delish.com is my absolute favorite!

Cornbread-Topped Apple Macaroni and Cheese

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups of store-bought cornbread muffin crumbles
  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow noodles
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of half-and-half
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 ½ cup diced Granny Smith apples (or other tart apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add cornbread crumbles, stir to combine, and remove from heat.  Set aside.

To prepare macaroni and cheese, begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add noodles and cook according to package directions for al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining ¼ cup of butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook about 2 minutes or until rue is golden.  Slowly whisk in half-and-half and milk; stir until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.  Season with the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Slowly add grated sharp cheddar cheese, a little at a time, and stir until completely melted.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in reserved noodles and apples.  Stir until well combined.  Pour pasta mixture into a greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish and top with reserved cornbread mixture.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly, and golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

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Yum!  Delicious!  Make some now and freeze it to save for after the baby is born.

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