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Morrissey Mac’ ‘n’ Cheese

morrissey mac cheeseRecipe submitted by Eileen S. of Charleston, SC, for the Mambolicious Recipe Contest of 2009.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper (preferably white)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. mustard*
  • 3 splashes of red pepper hot sauce
  • 3 splashes of Worstershire sauce
  • 1/3 medium onion, finely diced or grated
  • 7 oz. sharp cheddar cheese*
  • 1 cup milk (1 cup optional)
  • 2 cups Brown Cow Cream top Plain Yogurt*
  • 1 cup Ian’s Panko Bread Crumbs (original)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmiagiano Reggiano (Parmesan)
  • 1/2 lb. of macaroni*
  • 1 Tbsp. of oil*
  • 2 slices of fresh tomatoes
  • Four fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Make a classic cream sauce by melting 3 tablespoons butter over moderate heat and gradually whisking in 3 tablespoons flour.
  2. Add the mustard, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper hot sauce and Worcestershire sauces then slowly add one cup of scalded milk.
  3. Once you have a lump-free, cream sauce, gradually add warmed yogurt. Whisk steadily.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and grate in the sharp cheddar cheese. Let it sit.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Next, put the pasta in 4 quarts of boiling water to which 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil have been added, for no more than five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Butter a 6″ X 12″ baking dish.
  8. Drain pasta and add it to cheese sauce, folding it in gently so as not to break up the macaroni.
  9. If the sauce is too thick gradually add the second cup of milk, scalded.*
  10. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the Ian’s Panko Bread Crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  11. Put the macaroni and cheese sauce in the baking dish, press the bread crumb mixture on top.
  12. You can garnish with a couple of slices of fresh tomatoes and four fresh basil leaves, making a faux flower.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool slightly before serving.

Chef’s Notes: The butter can be either salted or unsalted. If use chose the latter, taste-test the sauce. You may want to add more salt. You can be creative with your cheeses and make it a three-cheese sauce, choosing to use smoked provolone, gruyere, Parmesan, baby Swiss, etc. As for the macaroni, the classic American choice since the 1950s, was elbow macaroni. This cook prefers something more trendy, but also a firm pasta such as Cavatelli, penne, or semolina rotelle that is shaped like spoked wheels. Kids like interestingly shaped pasta as well as colored pasta made with spinach or tomato, like spiral pasta in green, red and white, the colors of the Italian flag. IMPORTANT! Do not overcook the macaroni…it must be al dente or it will disintegrate into mush after being married to the cheese sauce and baked. Similarly, if you heat the yogurt too much before adding it, it will separate. If that happens, whisk it until it becomes smooth, then add it to the custard mixture. DO not boil it and take it off the heat when it starts to bubble. Also, you do not want mac’ ‘n’ cheese that is too heavy or solidified, which is why the second cup of milk might be added.

Prep time: 45 min.

Cook time: 15 min.

Servings: 6

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