December 29, 2011

Martha's Macaroni and Cheese

Happy Holidays! I made three batches of this macaroni and cheese for the holidays to share with family and friends. That is a lot of cheese grating, but it was totally worth it! It is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever tasted. So even though this is a baking blog, I am going to share it with you! Unfortunately it was all eaten before I could get some good photos, so take a peek at Martha Stewart's site for some mouthwatering photos of the recipe!

I would also like to share a few of the baking-related Christmas presents that I received. I cant't wait to use all of my new cook books and baking pans, so look forward to some fun desserts in the near future!
Mini Cheesecake Pan
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

500 Cookies

Mini Fluted Pan

The Perfect Scoop

6 slices Italian Bread
8 tbsp. butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
18 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese
8 oz. gruyere cheese
1 pound macaroni

Cook the macaroni 2-3 minutes less than the cooking instructions on the box state. This will ensure the pasta is slightly under cooked in the middle, and perfectly aldente in the finished dish. Strain the pasta and rinse under cold water.

Slice the crust off of the bread, and tear it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter and combine with bread crumbs. Let sit while the rest of the dish is prepared.

Grate all of the cheese, reserving 1 1/2 cups of sharp white cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere for the top of the dish.

In a large sauce pan, heat milk over medium/low heat, but do not let boil.

In small sauce pan melt 6 tbsp. butter. Once melted, add flour and stir until combined. Add butter and flour to heating milk while constantly whisking. Continue whisking and cooking until the mixture becomes thick and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and add salt, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne, and grated cheese (keeping the reserved cheese for the top separately).

Add the pasta to the cheese sauce. Stir and then pour into a buttered 3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Finally add the breadcrumbs in a layer on top of the cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until slightly browned on top. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.