Sunday, August 17, 2014

Martha Stewart's Perfect Macaroni and Cheese recipe and a few more!

If you have read this blog from the beginning, you know what a fan I am of Martha Stewart. I can't say enough about her hands on approach to "everything" she does. I admire her for her excellence to detail in all that she does. So many of my absolute favorite recipes come from her. I'll repost my story at the end of her recipe. I'll also post some of my other favorite recipes for Macaroni and Cheese, including two originals that I think you'll like.
Instead of re writing Martha's recipe, I am simple posting it.

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese How-To

You can easily divide this recipe in half; use a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish if you do.
Serves 12
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Those that know me have an understanding that when I speak about Martha I'm passionate about what she does.
I began my connection with Martha in 1990.
I have a copy of her prototype magazine "Martha Stewart Living" before it was a subscription and before it was offered to the public.
I had Martha autograph it on the cover.

I have over 200 copies of the magazine.
I own most of her books and several of them are autographed.

I have admired the fact that she is hands on and actually creates, designs, has input and physically works hard at what she does.
Over the years my opinion of her has changed...... however I still believe in what she does and how she has influenced so many people.

I like the first years of the magazine more than the recent ones.
In the beginning, the magazines were filled with information that could be used as a resource of invaluable design, crafting, cooking and her Holiday issues were the best. There was nothing else available that was as brilliant as hers. I wrote to her and suggested that she create a book that would be an index to look up a recipe or a craft without getting out all of the magazines. She created it and I have a copy.
I wrote to her once when I was a single dad, explaining that I wanted to raise my son in a home filled with all of the traditional values that I had when I was raised in a family with two parents. I used Martha's magazine to provide my son with the most amazing meals, design and holidays that I drew from her inspirations.

Whenever I have a question about a recipe, I still research Martha.

I added this close up to show that this is the index
for her magazines.

This is just another version of Baked Macaroni and Cheese
I can't seem to have enough recipes for it. I even created this one because I couldn't find one that i really liked. This also has shredded potatoes in it, which are an unusual ingredient for Macaroni and Cheese, but I think you'll find that it's a great addition.
This one is very "cheesy" and delicious! I was never really fond of a bread crumb topping, however I have learned to like them. This recipe was created, because I wanted a version, without a topping.
I created it in 2007 and it continues to be one of my favorites.

Macaroni and Cheese (original recipe, 2007)

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a large Casserole , Dutch Oven or a 10" Cast Iron Skillet. I like to cook in Cast Iron.

3 C whole Milk
2 8oz. packages of Cream Cheese, cubed
1 pound of Elbow Macaroni
1 pound bag of Frozen Shredded Potatoes
2 pounds of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In a 6 quart stock pot, add salted water a bring to a boil.
Add Macaroni and Potatoes and cook until the Pasta is Al Dente according to the package directions.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil.
Reduce heat and add the Cream Cheese, stirring until melted.
Gradually stir in the Cheddar Cheese until melted.
Add Pasta and Potatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place mixture in a the Casserole Dish, cover and Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove the cover and broil the top, if desired, to brown it.
It can also be Baked in a covered 10" Cast Iron Skillet.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cast Iron Skillet / Dutch Oven Macaroni and Cheese / Original recipe

I just created this recipe and made it for dinner.
So..... this one is good, everyone liked it, even the kids, but the prep time is overwhelming.

It's a huge amount, it took about an hour of prep time.
I started out in a 10"  Cast Iron Skillet and immediately realized that I needed my deep Cast Iron Chicken Fryer. I think a large Dutch Oven would work too.

I made a complete mess of the kitchen and had a lot of clean up.
In the long run, I would recommend this if you have a crowd or family reunion for dinner.
It looks and tastes great.
So..... it's worth the time, the effort, the mess!

Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees

1lb.8oz package of dry Macaroni
1/4 C ( 1/2 stick of Butter) plus 1/2 stick for the topping
1/4 C Flour
2C Milk
1C Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1- 4oz. can of Diced Green Chiles, undrained
2 C Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 C Grated Swiss Cheese
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese plus 1/4 C for topping
1/2 C Grated Romano Cheese plus 1/4 C for topping
2 C Bread Crumbs
2 TBS Fresh Chopped Rosemary

Bring about 7 quarts of water and a good amount of salt to a boil in a large stock pot .
Cook the Pasta until Al Dente.
Drain and set aside.
Melt 1/4 C of the Butter in a large Cast Iron Skillet or a Dutch Oven over medium heat.
Add Flour to create a Roux, stirring constantly.
Slowly whisk in the Milk and Cream, whisking constantly eliminating any lumps.
Whisk in the Dry Mustard.
Add 1/2 tsp of Salt.
Add the 1/2 C Parmesan, 1/2 C Romano, 2 C Cheddar and 2 C Swiss Cheeses and stir to melt and combine well.
Stir in the Green Chiles
Remove the pan from the heat

In a bowl, combine:
Breadcrumbs, Rosemary and reserved 1/4 C Parmesan and 1/4 C Romano Cheeses.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of the Macaroni

Cut small pieces of the remaining 1/2 Stick of Butter and distribute evenly over the top of the Breadcrumbs.

Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

After much thought, I've decided to post this recipe.
I've made it many times and it's great.

I have so many versions of Mac & Cheese and I really can't decide which is my favorite or should I say, which one has the right to be labeled a Best of the Best Recipe.
We all have our favorites.
How many versions of Mac & Cheese can I post?

When we served the latest one that I made, we asked the kids why they love Mac & Cheese so much.... they simply replied, "Kids Love Cheese"!
I don't think I've made a version that they don't eat.
I know that they absolutely love this Crock Pot Recipe.

It's certainly less time consuming than the last one I created.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese:

1 C Milk
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
4 TBS (1/2 stick) cut into pieces
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
2 C dry Elbow Macaroni
2 1/2 C Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 eggs, beaten

Boil the Macaroni in a 2Qt. saucepan for about 7 minutes
In the saucepan, melt Butter and Cheddar Cheese until creamy

In a Slow Cooker:
Cheese/Butter mixture
Sour Cream
Dry Mustard
Stir well!

Add Eggs
Add Macaroni and stir again

Set Slow Cooker on Low and cook for 3 hours.
Stir occasionally

Peace in the Kitchen!

More Mac & Cheese recipes to come.....
I just can't get enough of them!

I can't believe I'm posting another Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
I have so many favorite recipes for Mac and Cheese. I like this one because it's incredibly creamy and it doesn't have a bread crumb topping. There are times when I just want a basic creamy baked Macaroni and Cheese . This is it!

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese:

4 C dried Elbow Macaroni
2 C shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8oz) package
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cubed.
1/4 C cold butter, cubed.
1 (12oz.) can of evaporated milk.
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of Cheese Soup.
1/4 tsp black pepper.

Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain.
Place hot pasta in a large bowl and add 1 1/2 C Cheddar and Velveeta Cheese.
Add butter.
Stir to combine well.
Set aside.

In a separate bowl:
Whisk until smooth
Add to Macaroni

Pour into a 3 quart casserole
Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Uncover, stir
Sprinkle with 1/2 C shredded Cheddar.

Bake uncovered for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Macaroni and Cheese:

this needs no introduction!

1 pound of dried elbow macaroni1 pound of bulk sausage, i use vegetarian gimme lean sausage1 c diced onion16 ounces of your favorite salsa2- 8oz packages of shredded queso quesadilla cheese or any white mexican cheesetomato slicespickled jalapeno nacho slices, from a jar or a can!chopped fresh cilantroadditional salsa for garnish
grease a 3 quart casserole dish with buttercook pasta according to package directions, drain, set asidein a large skillet:
cook sausage and onion, until browned, drainreturn to skillet and add salsa
layer the ingredients in the casserole dish1/2 of the macaroni1/2 of the sausage1/2 of the shredded cheeserepeat
bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 - 40 minutes, until bubblingtop with tomato wedges, jalapeno slices and cilantroserve with additional salsa
enjoy!peace in the kitchen!

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