While most of our family lives in Atlanta, we're in New Orleans this year to spend Thanksgiving with the working doctors. For this holiday the traditions are all about the food. I'm sharing my favorite family macaroni and cheese recipe (thanks Martha Stewart) that we crave year-round.
- 1 pound of elbow macaroni
- 5 1/2 cups of milk
- 4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) of grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) of grated Gruyere cheese OR 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 6 slices of white bread (crusts removed, torn into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter (plus a little extra to butter the dish)
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish and set it aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and toss in bread to coat. Let them soak while you continue cooking.
- Begin heating milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- In a separate high-sided skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Whisk over heat for 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Add 3 cups of white cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 cups of Gruyere (or 1 cup of Pecorino Romano). Set cheese sauce aside.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 2-3 minutes LESS than cooking instructions on the box. Drain macaroni and rinse under cold water. Stir the macaroni and the cheese sauce together.
- Pour mixture into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups of white cheddar and 1/2 cup of Gruyere (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano) on top. Place buttered bread pieces to cover.
- Bake until browned on top - about 30 minutes.
I'm definitely not a master of the kitchen, but if I can do it (with a little help) so can you! This recipe will wow your crowd at any special occasion. It's worth all the dirty dishes ;)