Martha Inspired Mac N' Cheese

March 23, 2009

On a recent move across the country from Utah to the Philadelphia area our little family was most excited about visiting Delilah's in the Reading Terminal Market. Why you ask? Because Oprah rated it the best Macaroni and Cheese in the country. And I think we can all agree that Oprah knows a thing or two about mac n' cheese. It was delicious, and truly, sometimes there's nothing better than ditching the blue box of orange glow mac n' cheese that your kids love and getting into a seriously respectable and adult version that the kids will love too.

So imagine my excitement at finding a freezer recipe from none other than Martha Stewart. I tried it out last week and it was, indeed delicious. I also froze one portion and reheated per her directions and it was also divine! This recipe is from the Everyday Food website. I added a few extras to my cheese sauce. What I added will be indicated with an *.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk (don't use less than 2%)
2 tsp. salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard*
1/4 teaspoon onion powder*
3 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (12 ounces)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter

- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions.
- Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.

- Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth.
- Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes (see below).

- Melt 3 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta.

To Freeze:
Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
- Preheat oven to 375°. Place frozen dishes on a baking sheet; remove plastic. Cover with foil.
- Bake until bubbling, 60 to 70 minutes for large dishes, 40 to 50 minutes for small.
- Remove foil; continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.

I added about 2/3 cup of finely chopped cooked ham for a heartier dinner. Serve with steamed broccoli and you're golden!



REAL Whipped Cream On The Go!

March 9, 2009

This tip is dedicated to my Mother, the whipped cream champion of the world. I don't think Cool Whip passed my lips until I was in my 20's.

You can freeze real whipping cream and use it to top deserts and hot cocoa and anything else you can think of, without having to whip an entire container of whipping cream every time!

1 cup heavy cream/whipping cream (the WalMart house brand is wonderful)
1 tsp granulated sugar

- In a large bowl combine ingredients and beat with hand mixer until it begins to form peaks. (That means when you stop the beaters and lift them straight out of the cream, a peak forms and folds over shown below.)

- Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Dollop whipped cream onto the cookie sheet in single-serving sizes of your preference. If you want to get really fancy and impress your Mother-In-Law, pipe whipped cream out using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip*.

- Flash freeze on cookie sheet. Then transfer to a ziploc freezer bag or freezer container.

To Serve: You only need a few minutes to allow it to thaw, which you can usually do right on the dessert.

*Please Note: Now, I'm going to tell you this because I love you and we've reached a certain level of trust in our relationship. Please, if you must pipe, don't make the common mistake (spurred on by legions of Semi-Homemade With Sandra Lee fans) of just snipping the edge off of a plastic bag. This results in a very unattractive snake-like appearance which, when piled into a deviled egg or topped on your delightful dessert, looks remarkably like kitty poo. I'm sorry, I just had to say it.

(Don't do this)

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About This Blog

A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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