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.


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

.

4 comments:

Anonymous,  February 26, 2011  

Loving your website. I am living in Utah. Great to know I am learning from a Utah native!

Caitlin July 20, 2011  

Do you think it would be ok to cook the mac and cheese and then freeze portions so that it could be reheated in a microwave?

What A Dish! July 27, 2011  

I made a batch of this; froze half, and ate the other half for dinner. It was very good! Instead of bread crumbs I used crushed butter croutons because I was lazy. Can't wait to see how the frozen version will turn out.

Queep,  July 31, 2011  

Great with added broccoli and finely diced red onion!
I felt that 3 cups of breadcrumbs were a bit too much; it ended up as a whole other layer when just a nice dusting is all that was needed. Very comforting!

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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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