There are all kinds of way to make Mac ‘n Cheese, including our 🌍 World Famous Lobster Chowda Mac ‘n Cheese that I made for Edible DC when they came over for a day of cooking. That is a lot of work and usually for special occasions, Christmas Parties and just about any big event at LPB 🐟. I started making this when I was in high school in the seacoast of New Hampshire.
- One pound of pasta, pick one:
- 7 Cups of grated cheese, pick one mix
- 5 cups sharp cheddar, 2 cups fontina, 1 cup parmasean (if you use this mix add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder at the end when finished making sauce)
- 4 cups gruyere, 2 cups extra sharp cheddar, 1 cup fontina (if you use this add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg at the end when finished making the sauce)
- 1/2 quart plus 1/2 cup whole mile, 1/2 quart heavy cream, heated
- 8 tablespoonspoonms of b (1 stick) of unsalted butter
- 8oz of panko breadcrumbs
- Garlic clove peeled
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (it is best when you buy in big chunk and chop it up and put it in a blender or food processor–you can smell and taste the difference. If you think the stuff in a green can in the grocery section is right for this think again.
- Large pot for boiling
- Small sauce pan to heat the milk and cream
- 4 quart sauce pan to make ‘béchamel’ sauce
- 3 quart baking dish
- Saute pan
- Mixing tub
- Bring the water to a boil, add two tablespoons of salt and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, out in pasta and cook the minimum about of time recommended, just beyond it having a crunch. Don’t forget it will keep cooking and then you bake it for a while too. No one like mushy pasta it’s savagery. After the pasta cooks strain and put in the mixing tub.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and whisk in the sifted flour. Cook over medium low head for two minutes the whisk in the hot milk/cream mixture one cup at a time. Stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Add either the dried mustard or freshly grated nutmeg. Take the pan off the heat and add the grated cheese and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Take two tablespoons of butter and met in a saute pan and add panko bread crumbs and lightly brown them. Stir constantly and add one minced clove of garlic for the last minute of cooking. Take off the heat and put in a bowl to cool and mix in the parmesan cheese.
Time to Cook
- Set the oven to 375 degrees
- Put the rack in the middle
- Mix the cheese sauce with the pasta thoroughly and put in the buttered baking dish
- Sprinkle bread crumbs/ parmasean on top
- Bake for 35 minutes and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Say no to tasteless supermarket cheeses and say yes to specialty cheese shops or the gourmet cheese section of your supermarket.
While we are on the topic of cheese, it makes me think of a common dish I would serve when at Plymouth with the old crew, Paul, Kendra, Silvie, Sonya, Bob and so on. Budgets were tight and grocery stores in northern New Hampshire did’t have specialty sections. We would take canned green giant peas and discard the water, then melt down some Velveeta cheese with some milk and add the peas and a bag of frozen pearl onions. So yes we have gotten snotty over the years about the cheese we cook with but it is now so available and at supermarkets all over, even at the Hatch Plaza in Plymouth!