Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mac and Cheese

I'm getting ready for a fall cook out tomorrow with co-workers and preparing baked mac and cheese. I was really looking forward to a Sunday of cooking but, this is going to be a challenge because my oven is broken.

Yesterday at 5:30 in the morning I started to hear a constant clicking sound. I was very confused by this and thought it was coming from my window. An hour later, I realized it was coming from the kitchen. My stove was acting like it was trying to light all four burners at one time. Since this had never happened to me before, I panicked-- worried that my oven was going to explode into a ball of fire. Thankfully, I talked to my mom and consulted the-google and found that it was not life threatening, just incredibly annoying. Maintenance in my building came first thing in the morning and unplugged the over (the clicking is caused by an electrical malfunction), I was also promised a new oven next week.

So, I can use the stove top by lighting it manually. But no such luck with the oven. I'm supposed to be bringing apple pie and mac and cheese to the cook out tomorrow. I'm going to have to be resourceful and do all the prep here, and then steal an oven from someone for an hour or so. We'll see how it goes.

Recipe for the best mac and cheese I've ever had:

Adaptation of Alton Brown's Baked Mac and Cheese

What You Need (I always double it):
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 6 ounces monterey jack, shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps.
4. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf. 5. Temper in the egg. This involves putting the end in a separate bowl and then mixing in a little of the cream sauce mixture bit by bit. This gets the egg hot without getting a poached egg in the middle of your mac and cheese mix.
6. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
9. Top with remaining cheese.
10. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

I have had great success with this recipe and love making it! Now, off to find an oven.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Was this the recipe you used at FEMA that wowed everyone? Meanwhile I brought napkins? Ha ha