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archive for April 3rd, 2013

gettin’ all cheesy over here

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Recipe: mac and cheese (two ways)

We are basically following the rhythmic swing of a pendulum between snow and sun. What I’m preparing at home mimics this oscillation: salads and springy foods to soups, bakes, and comfort foods. Comfort foods like mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is like chocolate cake for me – I’m always on the prowl for the best recipe.

snowy day? make mac and cheese

Growing up, I was aware of two kinds of mac and cheese: Kraft mac and cheese and the kind that you got in school cafeterias. I can’t really endorse either one. It wasn’t until the last decade that I’ve begun to enjoy mac and cheese. That’s probably because I’ve been eating at better restaurants and they put things like lobster in their mac and cheese. I tend to prefer the creamy versions that have a baked crust of cheese and bread crumbs. And I like penne over elbow macaroni because elbow macaroni is squirrely. So when I see a recipe titled “World’s Best Mac and Cheese”, I’m eager to put it to the test.

cheddar, jack, butter, flour, salt, chipotle powder, garlic powder, whole milk

grate the cheese

two cheeses at the ready

This version of mac and cheese is based on a bechamel sauce made of butter, flour, and milk. When the sauce is hot and thickened, the cheeses are stirred in and you have your cheese sauce. It is lightly seasoned with some garlic powder and chipotle powder. I didn’t have chipotle powder, but I found some in the bulk spice section of my local Whole Foods. [I’m pretty sure I could find it at Savory Spice Shop, which I shall do in the future because I love them.] It adds a dimension of spice and smoke to the dish.

whisking the flour into the butter to make a roux

whisking in the milk

stir in the cheeses

adding chipotle and garlic powders

**Jump for more butter**