Mac and Cheese

Everybody loves cheese. It seems the more melted gooey cheese the more rave reviews. I have had many boxes of Velveeta and Kraft but I was wondering what does the REAL thing taste like? One day while watching Barefoot Contessa early Saturday morning, yes thats what I do because the Muppet babies aren’t on anymore, I saw her make what seemed to be the perfect recipe! I find that Ina Garten (yes that’s her name, I thought it was fake too!)has a great knack for comfort foods. So I decided to use her recipe this Easter although from researching Mac and Cheese recipes I picked up some tips from Martha Stewart.

PS- Cheese is good way into any familys heart! Especially your fiances!

1. Use white sharp cheddar as opposed to the orange color. It gives a smoother consistency while the orange one can leave the consistency grainy. Although after I mixed the mac and cheese and layered it in the pyrex I did put a layer of shredded orange cheddar in between.

2. After cooking and draining the macaroni rinse it with cold water to get the extra starch off.


* Kosher salt
* Vegetable oil
* 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
* 1 quart milk
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
* 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
* 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

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