My husband is totally a Velveeta guy. He will choose processed american melty cheese over anything else. And I do mean anything… in addition to macaroni and cheese, he wants it on nachos, melted in scrambled eggs, and even Philly Cheese Steak! (Personally, Velveeta mac & cheese is my favorite too, but it's not the only cheese out there right!?!?) So… I knew he wasn’t going to be thrilled about this recipe, but I really wanted to give baked Macaroni and Cheese another shot. When I've tried to make it in the past it has been dry and not very flavorful and well…. dry.
And the results were…
I dont think it will replace our beloved velveeta but it is a nice change. This is a Mark Bittman recipe and I am submitting this to IHCC Pot Luck.
21/2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 pound elbow, shell, ziti, or other cut pasta
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
11/2 cups grated cheddar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup or more bread crumbs, preferably fresh
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
2. Cook the milk with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.
3. Cook the pasta to the point where it is almost done but you would still think it needed another minute or two to become tender. Drain it, rinse it quickly to stop the cooking, and put it in a large bowl.
4. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; when it is foamy, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the hot flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk all the while. As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until all the milk is used up and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the cheddar and stir.
5. Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss in the Parmesan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch or similar-size baking pan and turn the pasta mixture into it. Top liberally with bread crumbs and bake until bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, about 15 minutes. Serve piping hot.