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Mac & Cheese – Classic Comfort on a Rainy Day

My hubby has a mistress in the kitchen.  Her name:  Betty Crocker. She has opened his eyes to many a culinary treat and has provided him comfort in a way that I can’t. She certainly has ways to get him to relax, whether it’s getting him to knead out his frustrations while making fresh pie crust or offering comfort food suggestions on rainy days. I suppose I should be grateful to her for getting him in the kitchen (and by extension, to General Mills for creating her in the 1920s). And I certainly benefit from the relationship — perhaps too much.

Today was a rainy one, so he turned to Betty C for a classic. She offered Mac and Cheese, of course. I offered Panko breading–a little Asian infusion to the classic American dish. He loved it! I guess that’s what I do. I bring a little something different, cultural, worldly, spunky–a little twist to something classic.

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Here’s a Mac & Cheese variation from the 2000 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, which is good for 4 servings.

What you’ll need:

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded light Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup Panko breading

What you’ll do:

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cook the macaroni as directed on the package.

3) While the macaroni is cooking, melt the butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute; remove from heat. Stir in both cups of cheese until melted.

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4) Drain the macaroni. Place in baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce on the macaroni and gently stir to incorporate the sauce.

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5) Top the macaroni and cheese with Panko breading. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the Panko breading is golden brown.

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And, I have to admit…it was delicious!

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