Martha’s Mac & Cheese

On March 15, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This recipe is nothing short of humble… Martha Stewart’s website even went so far to name the recipe “Perfect” in its title.  Fortunately, that title is well deserved with this recipe that lived up to the hype.

I was on a conference call the night I was making this dish and everything was ready as I was jumping on a call with China as I dished out some for my wife to enjoy and put the rest back in the oven to keep warm until my call was over.

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From the family room, I heard my wife shout “this is the BEST mac & cheese you have ever made!”

Sounded great though I was disappointed as I was on my call for a good hour until I finally finished work and dished out some for myself.  My wife was right.

The sauce is cheesy rich almost fondue like sauce that is created while the noodles are cooking.

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I decided to divert from the recipe a little with the breadcrumbs. I kept the crust on and proceeded to heat the bread crumbles in a saute pan with a little butter to give it some crunch, being careful not to burn. I then took the bread and put in my min food processor in two batches and reduced it down to small bread crumbs leaving some slightly larger pieces in it.

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The rest of recipe I followed exactly. Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [Perfect Macaroni and Cheese]

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Kale Pasta Bake

On February 15, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love macaroni and cheese.  There are a lot of variations on it and I’m always interested in trying something a little different.  Here is one without cheese. So technically it’s really not a macaroni and cheese. It’s more of a macaroni noodle and vegan bechamel, but that doesn’t sound as good. I’ve made bechamel before in other pasta dishes, it’s pretty easy though not as simple as dumping in a pile of cheese.

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The dish is a bit dry compared to a mac and cheese, but the kale and crunchy crust from the breadcrumbs help give it some more texture and flavor.  It’s also pretty good for making enough for a couple days for leftovers as it keeps well.

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So if you want a break from a less healthy creamy cheese macaroni dish, this is a good option to try next time.

 

Full Recipe: [Crunchy Crust Kale Pasta Bake]

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Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

On January 30, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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A slow cooked pot roast, spicy chili, or a bowl of macaroni and cheese all say winter comfort food to me.  On a cool 65 degree day here in a Dallas, I was craving a hearty dish of mac and cheese.  My wife had come across a recipe from the blog White on Rice Couple.

The recipe uses a few ingredients where the noodles are cooked, stirring constantly, in milk.  It’s all done in one pot on the stove as opposed to most baked macaroni and cheese recipes.

I used two cheeses, a sharp cheddar from Whole Foods and a Fontina. About 3/4 cup of cheddar and 1/4 cup fontina was added after the milk reduced significantly leaving only a thick coating to the pasta.  The cheeses melt quickly and the dish is served immediately.

We added a few diced chives and the next day baked the leftovers spreading some lightly toasted bread crumbs.

For the full recipe: One Pot, Stove Top Creamy Mac and Cheese

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Bistro Macaroni Gratin

On November 28, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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A couple weeks back I made Provencale Beef Stew from a French Bistro Cooking course I took over 15 years ago. There is a part two to this recipe.  The stew makes a flavorful broth that is used to make a macaroni gratin dish. I have never made the gratin without the two cups of stew broth from the other recipe. I suppose you can make this gratin with another beef stew broth, just make sure you strain the broth so you don’t mix in any vegetables or other ingredients; though, I suppose that wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have happen.

La Macaronade
(Macaroni Gratin)

2 lbs.    elbow macaroni
2 cups  liquid reserved from stew*
2 cups  grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the broiler.  Bring a large pot of water to a hard boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender.  Drain.  Spoon half the noodles into two 2-quart gratin dishes.  Moisten with the liquid.  Sprinkle with half the cheese.  Add the remaining noodles, liquid and cheese.  Place under the broiler and broil just until the cheese is lightly browned and sizzling.

*see Provencale Beef Stew recipe.  Or use liquid from a stew.

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