Macaroni & Cheese
Makes: 6 servings
- 4 cups milk (I recommend whole)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- extra salt, to taste
- 11 ounces of cheese, shred it yourself*
- 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder (optional, kinda)
- 1 pound (pre-cooked weight) of pasta (the more twists and ridges the noodle has, the better), cooked
1. In a medium pan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. (Get your water boiling to cook your pasta.)
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until it smells nutty. Whisk throughout the duration of cooking. (This mixture is called a roux.) Remove from heat. Whisk in milk until smooth.
3. Return pan back to the burner and over medium heat, cook and whisk the roux/milk mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Stir in salt.
3. Congratulations, you’ve just made béchamel sauce. You deserve some whisky.
4. Decrease your béchamel to low heat and stir in cheese and mustard powder. Do NOT let it get too hot (you don’t want to bring it to a simmer), this is how you get gross, shitty gritty cheese sauce.
5. Stir your noodles into the sauce, add more salt if needed, and serve.
*I like to use a combination of Gruyère and Fontal. You can use all cheddar if you want. Port Salut + Parrano is another favorite of mine. Seriously…anything from American (just don’t use the processed, plastic-wrapped slices, go for a chunk from the deli counter or use something like Applegate’s pre-sliced in a pinch) to Fontina, even if you want to throw in some brie, will work out.
I say to shred the cheese yourself because most pre-shredded cheeses have stabilizers that will totally fuck up all your hard work by giving your sauce an undesirable texture. Still edible, but meh.
-Mustard powder just gives a tiny, but solid edge to the sauce. I highly recommend using it.
-You can vegan-ize this with almond milk, coconut butter (I like Melt) and Daiya “cheese”.
-Pasta can be substituted for quinoa, quinoa noodles, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, doesn’t matter. It’s all in the sauce.
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