Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mac and cheese

Another dish from Hallow-tini.

When I learned to make "mac and cheese" (or as it is called in England, macaroni cheese), I learned using a bechamel sauce, so that's what I do.

Ingredients - bechamel

2 US Quarts whole milk
2 blades mace
1/2 medium onion (spanish) or use a shallot chopped thinly, roughly.
4 oz butter
4 oz flour

Method - bechamel
Put milk, mace, onion in a saucepan and heat sowly andtil bubbles form on thesurface. Turn heat off, cover and leave to steep for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, melt the butter over medium heat, and when foaming has stopped, add the flour and cook, stirring vigorously for 3 minutes to cook out the floury taste and make a blonde roux. Do not let the butter flour mixture brown.
Strain the hot milk mixture into the roux while whisking constantly to ensure no lumps. Discard the onion/mace from the strainer.
Bring the roux/milk mixture slowly to the boil allowing it to thicken. Boil gently for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Set aside.

Ingredients Mac and Cheese
3 1/2 lbs elbow macaroni
1 Recipe bechamel sauces(above)
2 cups Asiago grated
1 cup Cheddar grated
1 cup Pecorino Romano (not Locatelli) grated
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano gtared coarsly
1 Cup shredded mozzarella (low moisture, part skim)
Salt/white pepper to taste

Method (Mac and Cheese)
Cook the pasta accroding to the packet directions for 3/4 of the time mentioned. You want there still to be a bit of a bite.Drain, but do not rinse.
Add the Asiago, Cheddar, Pecorino to the bechamel and stir carefully to incorporate.
Pour the bechamel/cheese misxture over the pasta and stir to incorporate.
Place into baking pans (12x8 or thereabouts). Sprinkle the evenly divided Parmigiano Reggiano and Mozzarella on top of the mac/cheese misxture.
Cover with foil and refrigerate up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, bring to room temperature. bake covered in a 375F oven for 45 minutes, and then uncovered to brown in a 425 oven for 15 or so. Serve piping hot

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