I had some broccoli that needed to be used up so I decided to make a mac & cheese on Sunday that we could eat later in the week. I cut the two small broccoli crowns into small pieces and added it to the pot with the macaroni about 5 minutes before the pasta was finished cooking. Then I just finished the recipe with the cheese sauce as indicated in the recipe below.
When I got home from work on Tuesday I preheated the oven while I did my exercise video (I have to give a plug to the 30-Day Shred...love it!) and then I put the dish in the oven to cook while I showered and got the salad ready.
We had some baby arugula in the fridge and a few mushrooms so I sliced the mushrooms and made a quick dressing with minced shallot, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little Dijon:
Easy and tasty. I really love the new mac & cheese recipe. Once again, as much as I don't like the ATK/CI/CC philosophy, I can't argue with some of their recipes. This one is a recipe I saw on the new Cook's Country TV show. I don't follow it to the letter since I don't keep evaporated milk on hand and I like a little onion flavor in my mac & cheese, so below is my modified (gasp!) version.
Best Potluck Macaroni and Cheese
3-4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni (I like to use cavatappi)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 dried bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded American cheese, (use block American cheese from the deli counter. Prewrapped slices of American cheese will result in a drier sauce)
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse bread, melted butter, and Parmesan in food processor until ground to coarse crumb. Transfer to bowl.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture turns light brown, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, onion, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook until mixture begins to simmer and is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves, then whisk in cheeses and stir until cheese melts. Stir in macaroni until completely coated.
Transfer mixture to 9 by 13-inch lightly greased baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until cheese is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.