Thursday, September 23, 2010


It's that time of the year to start preparing those cool weather comfort foods...and nothing says comfort like Mac & Cheese. While the original mac & cheese came to America from Italy, there are so many variations on this standard that every culture is in the act.

I am not a fan of Velveeta cheese, but in this recipe it is the ingredient that makes it ultra-creamy..seriously, try it.

8 oz small shell pasta
3 slices of crustless white bread
6 tbl unsalted butter
10 oz grated sharp cheddar (4 cups)
10 oz grated Gruyere cheese
6 oz Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
1 oz blue cheese crumbled
1/2 tsp paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 shallots, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups milk
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cook pasta according to package instructions BUT only half the time, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Tear up the bread and pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Heat saucepan over medium heat and melt 3 tbl butter. Add the bread crumbs and stir to combine and set aside.

Wipe out the same pan and melt the remaining butter and add paprika, thyme, shallots and bay leaf. Cook until shallots are soft about 5 minutes. Add flour and cayenne and stir until it gets thick. Whisk in the milk and cook stirring frequently until the sauce gets thick and coats the back of a spoon. Toss out the thyme and bay leaf and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in cheddar, half the Gruyere, the Velveeta and the blue cheese. Stir until smooth. Add the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining Gruyere and breadcrumbs.
To help with the mess, place the baking dish on a tin foil lined baking sheet and bake until it is golden and bubbly..about 30 minutes. Let cool and serve!

I could eat the whole dish...okay so I have a few times WHAT!!!???

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