Another quick weeknight meal:
... one of the mac & cheeses I have in the freezer. I served it with a quick salad of chopped romaine, celery and scallions with blue cheese dressing:
Last weekend I made an inventory of all the things in the freezer since we're trying to use up everything we have before buying more stuff. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
Best Potluck Macaroni and Cheese
Slightly Modified from Cook's Country
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. Off heat 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.