Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Comfort Table -- Macaroni and Four Cheeses

Today is an anniversary -- it is the anniversary of the first time my husband asked me to marry him.

We'd been having the getting married conversation off-handedly for a while, and so when he asked me on a Saturday morning, I was just like, "Yeah, OK, whatever.  I'll answer you eventually."

(That's not exactly what I said, but it's close enough.)

By the time I figured out it was an actual asking, it was all awkward and weird and I couldn't answer.

Then we went to the State Fair, and I was going to be all cute and give him the answer when we got to the top of the ferris wheel.  Except. . .they put this teenaged couple in the cart with us, so that was awkward, too.

Then, the Monday after the Saturday he asked the first time, we had lunch at Jimmy John's, and over a BLT, he asked again.  That time, I knew what was going on, and said yes.

Incidentally, I had to look through almost 400 photos to find this one, which we took outside the JJ's after the Official Proposal.  It's mind-blowing how much younger I look in that picture.

Anyway, to tie that in with the recipe. . .that's the guy that I'm now making homemade mac and cheese for, sans facial hair. 

I didn't use the same 4 cheeses Katie Lee Joel used, but I did use 4 cheeses, and this made enough for two dinners and a lunch.

Macaroni and Four Cheeses

Adapted from The Comfort Table
Serves  6 to 8 (or 2 a few times)


1 pound macaroni
5 Tbl. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Havarti cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tomatoes (or 1 if parts of yours aren't bad OR if you really like tomatoes)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Prepare the macaroni as indicated on package.  Drain well.

In a large pan, melt 4 Tbl. of the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring with a whisk.  Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened.

Remove pan from heat and stir in Cheddar, Havarti, and Mozzerella cheeses, along with salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into a 2- or 3-quart baking dish.  (Katie Lee Joel says to use a 3-quart, but a 2-quart worked fine for me.)

Slice tomatoes and arrange on top of mixture.  In another bowl, melt the remaining butter and mix with bread crumbs and Parmeasan.  Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the dish and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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