Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mac and Cheese

Last night I was in the mood for comfort food. The Barefoot Contessa always refers to macaroni and cheese as comfort food so I got online, printed off her Mac and Cheese recipe, stopped at the grocery store for a few ingredients and headed home to make it!

  • 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) (Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese so I just used Swiss cheese.)
  • 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) (I'm not a tomato gal so I didn't add tomatoes to my Mac and Cheese.)
  • 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 (I thought this made the dish super salty so next time I'm just going to add 1 teaspoon of salt and people can add more salt to their own individual portion if they choose.), 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.


  1. I was looking for a Mac N Cheese recipe last week and I made sure to check her website. But I let the Gruyere cheese scare me away. Now that I know what I can use I'll be sure to try it out!

  2. It looks GREAT but you changed so many things that basically you made your own Mac and cheese!

  3. Oh how I wished I liked to cook! lol
    Looks good and sounds good!