Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's Cookin': Easy Breezy Mac and Cheesy

Being a full-time working mom, I’m always looking for fast, easy, and healthy recipes for weekday cooking.  A few months ago I hit the jackpot when I found a fantastic mac and cheese recipe in my issue of Food and Wine.  I have made it several times and it’s always a hit…so thought I would share it here for any out there needing a good mac and cheese recipe. 

A disclaimer…this recipe is healthy in that uses all real food ingredients, but don’t expect low-fat or light.  I recommend getting all ingredients measured out and getting the pasta boiling before starting because it goes very quickly once you start the sauce.  I love this recipe because it’s basically fool proof.  I’m usually generous with the cheese and I often use medium cheddar instead of sharp for a milder flavor.  I also adjust the amount of smoked paprika…it is a very strong spice and Julian prefers less smoky and more cheesy.  So tweak to your heart’s content and happy eating!!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese (aka Easy Breezy Mac and Cheesy)
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar coarsely shredded
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups milk
1 cup fontina cheese coarsely shredded
½ cup marscapone
8 oz elbow macaroni

1. In a very large saucepan, melt the butter.
2. Whisk in the flour and paprika and cook over moderate heat until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the remaining cheddar and the Fontina and cook over low heat until melted.
5. Off the heat, stir in the mascarpone and season with salt.
6. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
7. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until hot and bubbling, about 2 minutes.
8. Spoon the mac and cheese into bowls, top with the cheese crisps and serve.

Click here for the original recipe.

1 comment :

  1. never tried smoked paprika, sounds delicious.
    out of curiosity, do you have a sense of the cholesterol count of recipe, love mac 'n cheese, but need to watch cholesterol...

    the mascarpone must be an interesting add to flavor with its subtlety & btw the pic of ingredients looks really yum, even without the image of completed dish.

    have a good weekend!