Now this was a thing of beauty! Sometimes I even suprise myself at how great things turn out. Easter, for me, is the greatest day in history and I like to celebrate big time. This year we decided to open our home to anyone who needed a place to go, we ended up with 32 people. Our little house was stuffed full to the rim. We loved it and so did the kidlets.
I decided I wanted to do a ham and macaroni and cheese but needed a good recipe. I consulted my sister, Tricia, because her husband is a lover of mac & cheese and she knows a good recipe when she sees one. She sent me a few from Food Network that she thought looked good and I settled on one from Tyler Florence. One of the reasons I was doing mac & cheese is because, there are some vegetarians among us, so I couldn't follow Tyler's recipe exactly, he topped it with bacon. I edged the mac & cheese with some homemade bread crumbs, the result was GORGEOUS! And delicious!
This is the mac & cheese before it was cooked. I made it on Saturday and cooked it on Sunday. I thought it was great but would like to try it cooking it right away. My guess is it would be even creamier. One thing to note is that when you put the mac & cheese in the baking dish it will be really soupy looking. That is OK it turns out just fine. Here is the recipe.
Mac 'N cheese
Adapted from Tyler FlorenceIngredients:
1 lb. elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (I used Tillamook)
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 minutes, until just al dente. Drain. It's very important to cook only to al dente because the noodles continue to cook in the oven and you don't want mushy noodles!
Preheat oven to 400
In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves. Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of cheese a couple of handfuls at a time. Use a figure 8 motion to get the cheese melted and combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and fold to coat the pasta with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 9x13 baking dish and top with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Sprinkle bread crumbs around the edge to make it extra pretty! Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Enjoy! Here is the link to Buddy's bread crumb recipe. Buddy Valastro is the Cake Boss on TLC. We love that show. Now he has a cooking show called The Kitchen Boss, he too has some great things. I plan to share my version of chicken nuggets, my kids LOVE them and they are much better than something out of a box. I use these bread crumbs to coat the chicken.....oooohhh something for you to look forward to!