Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Cheese Part VIII

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Previous Macaroni and Cheese editions:

Remember that car accident from the fall?

Yeah, well, apparently my shoulder has developed a case of PTSD because it has been screaming in pain for the past four or five weeks. I broke down last week and went to an orthopedist, who gave me a prescription for 500mg of naproxen (one Aleve is 220mg) and sent me to physical therapy. I was hoping for something less, um, physical. I wanted a pill. I didn’t actually want to do any work here. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Monday was my first appointment. It was your average consultative appointment, which I was warned would take more than an hour. This meant that dinner needed to be something made in advanced and reheatable. 

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WHAT WORKED: The reheatability factor. The mixture of cheeses was pretty good here as well, though I might consider something a little sharper to contrast the creamy Muenster on the next try. Oh, and I had some shredded colby jack in the fridge that I threw in. There’s no such thing as too much cheese.

WHAT DIDN’T: My mustard powder is apparently old because it made absolutely no difference here in terms of flavor.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I liked it. I wasn’t sure I was going to since I heated it up in the microwave, but it was good.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Likely. It’s a very easy, very quick recipe to assemble.

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Essential Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Kitchen Confidence By Kelsey Nixon via Serious Eats

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 32 oz. milk, scalded (JARED’S NOTE: Nixon calls for whole. I used 1% because it’s what I had on hand. Some milkfat is necessary here, so don’t use skim.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/2 lb. Muenster cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Bring a stockpot or other large pot of water to boil. Salt liberally with kosher salt and cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside.

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In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Use a flat whisk to mix in the flour, whisking constantly until it forms a paste and bubbles, about two minutes. Add 3 cups of milk to the pan and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken, about five minutes. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook two more minutes.

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Stir in the dry mustard and cayenne pepper. Then add the cheese in batches. Stir until the cheese melts, then add the last of the milk.

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Transfer the pasta to a bowl then top with cheese sauce. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, stir, then top with Parmesan cheese. Let stand a couple of minutes so the cheese can be absorbed by the pasta.

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3 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Cheese Part VIII”

  1. Made it (with whole milk). Turned out creamy with a sharp cheddar tang – my two favorite features – and just a hint of heat. Ate the left overs for breakfast why not. Is a do-over, maybe finished in the oven next time with a garlic panko crust.

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