Friday, November 25, 2011

Thomas Jefferson's Macaroni & Cheese

This was my main course at yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner (I say it was "my" main course since I was the only one at the table not eating turkey). It was the first time I'd made it and it was SO good.  I included some fine cheeses which I feel made this basic dish just that much more extraordinary.

The original recipe can be found here. I made several modifications to it of course.



1 lb elbow macaroni
3-4 cups of grated sharp Cheddar cheese, or whatever
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs plus 1 tbsp butter


1...Cook pasta by following the directions on the box.  Cook only to al dente, about 8 minutes.

2...Using a large saucepan, combine milk, mustard, Worcestershire and butter over medium heat.  As it warms up, add cheeses, thyme, cayenne, pepper, salt, nutmeg and flour.  Stir until all cheese is melted. 

3...Combine cheese mixture with the pasta in a 9x13 pan.  Combine the breadcrumbs with the butter and evenly spread over the macaroni.

4...Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Allow it to cool about 5 minutes before serving.


This was absolutely scrumptious!  I used 1 cup Wisconsin cheddar, 1 cup Dutch gouda, 1 cup Gruyere and I went half a step further and added 1/2 cup cubed Velveeta.  Yes, Velveeta.  I went through all the trouble to add the other "nice" cheeses and I go and add processed cheese.  Why?  It made it a little creamier.  And I wanted it in there, no apologies.

I also used regular breadcrumbs instead of the Panko.  It was still magnificent - and very rich.

One important note I should add, I only made HALF the amount since I was pretty much the only person eating this for dinner.  That said, I used a Pyrex glass loaf pan instead of the 9x13 pan.  I only made 1 box of elbow macaroni (quinoa pasta :) BUT... I used the same amount of cheese! It ended up being even richer and creamier.  SOOOOOOO good!

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