Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole with Asiago and Cheddar

I can recall very vividly the first time I made macaroni and cheese. I must have been about 4 years old. I was craving macaroni and cheese and thought I'd give it a try by myself. I didn't really understand the concept, though, and had already learned that ovens and stove tops were for grownup use only. My solution? Dump Kraft Dinner noodles into a tupperware container. Pour cold water over noodles. Wait 20 minutes to see if noodles soaked up the water. Upon seeing disappointing results, abandon efforts.

Luckily, my culinary skills have improved since then.

I blogged very briefly about my favourite Macaroni and Cheese recipe in an earlier round of Four Foods on Friday, but this recipe makes such frequent appearances in my kitchen that I thought it deserved its own post - and some pictures of my own. Mac and cheese might not be classy but it is delicious, and this one's all-natural.

It's another one of those recipes where no matter what type of cheese you have on hand, it's bound to turn out perfectly. Last night, I didn't have enough cheddar in the fridge - but I did have a few slices of Asiago.

Cheddar and asiago may sound like a strange combination, but it was actually delicious - the best it's ever tasted, even. Keep reading for the tweaked recipe.

Traditional Macaroni and Cheese
6 servings

* 1 2/3 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
* 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 1 3/4 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
*1.5 oz asiago cheese, shredded (for my Canadian readers, I used 2 slices of pre-sliced Tre Stelle Asiago, broken into pieces)
* Ground black pepper to taste
*Seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9"x9" casserole dish.

Combine cornstarch, salt, mustard and pepper in medium saucepan. Stir in evaporated milk, water, butter (or margarine), and worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and crumbled asiago until melted. Add macaroni; mix well. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese on top. Top with enough bread crumbs to lightly cover the macaroni.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and light brown and sauce is bubbling.


Cairo Typ0 December 12, 2008 at 4:45:00 AM EST  

That macaroni looks SOOOOOooooo good!! *drool*

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