Rainy Days and Macaroni Go Hand in Hand

It’s raining again.  Not that I’m complaining.  Because it sure beats me having to drag the hose out to water the 100 or so plants we put in the ground over the last couple weeks.

And Henry is sick with what William had last week, so we aren’t going to be going anywhere.  It’s just gonna be one of those get-what-you-can-done-around-the-house days while the baby naps (and just for the record, she’s fightin’ it).  But I did manage to get my very best macaroni and cheese made for the kiddos.  It takes a while to put together, but I’m tellin’ you, once you’ve tasted this, you can never go back to that other stuff.  I mean when mac -n- cheese has cayenne and nutmeg, gruyere and pecorino romano in it, how can you go wrong? 

The smell in the kitchen is unbeatable, and this is for sure a comfort food.  The perfect one for a cool, rainy, not-feelin’-so-good kind of day. 

 UPDATED!  Here is the recipe y’all:

8 tbsp unsalted butter

6 slices good white bread (I use baguettes or sourdough) cut into 3/4 inch cubes

5 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar

2 cups grated Gruyere, or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano

1 lb macaroni

Butter a 3 qt casserole dish and set aside.  Melt 2 tbsp of the butter, and drizzle over the bread cubes, toss to combine; set aside.

In a med saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk.  Melt remaining 6 tbsp butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat.  When butter bubbles, add flour.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne.  While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk.  Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. 

Remove pan from heat, add 3 cups cheddar, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Romano, stir until combined and set aside. 

Cook Macaroni two minutes less than manufacturer’s directions.  Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.  Pour mixture into casserole dish.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup gruyere or 1/4 cup romano on top, and bread cubes over top.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until browned on top and cheese is bubbly.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

I got this basic recipe from Martha Stewart.  I have used whole milk, skim, different cheeses, etc., and it always turns out fantastic.  Definitely not heart healthy, but sure is good for the soul.  🙂

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Rainy Days and Macaroni Go Hand in Hand

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