[identity profile] eresse21.livejournal.com
I've tried a lot of Macaroni and Cheese recipes. This one is the family favorite so far. I occasionally tweak it by substituting mozzarella or Swiss cheese for the Gruyère or adding Parmesan or pecorino. I've also used mustard and/or paprika in lieu of the cayenne, penne or ziti instead of macaroni and mixed in bacon, roast or boiled chicken bits, ham and even smoked salmon. It's a fairly flexible recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese 
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 slices white bread, crust removed and torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated 
1 1/2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated 
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese for topping 
cold sour cream (optional)

Cook the macaroni in lots of salted boiling water, removing from heat 3-4 minutes before the end of cooking time stated in package directions. Drain. Toss the bread pieces in the melted butter; set aside. Bring the milk just to the boil. Remove from heat.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or high-sided skillet. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, mixing with a wooden spoon. Switch to wire whisk and slowly stir in the hot milk. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and cheeses. Combine the cheese sauce with the macaroni; mix thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter a 3-quart casserole or baking dish. Transfer the macaroni mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses and bread pieces. Bake until browned on top, about 30-40 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serves 12.

Note: Giada de Laurentiis has an interesting "cupcake" version of Mac and Cheese. She fills buttered muffin or cupcake tins 2/3 full with the macaroni mixture, places a few pieces of chopped tomato, bacon or ham and broccoli florets on top then sprinkles them with breadcrumbs and bakes them for about 20 minutes. I'm planning to make them for a family reunion. Will post the recipe and directions if they're as good as they look.
[identity profile] chaotic-binky.livejournal.com

My Cottage Pie

This cottage pie is nearly traditional, but for a couple of additional ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 lb or 500g of low fat minced beef (Ground Beef)

1 onion

1 beef stock cube – I use oxo

Worcestershire sauce

1 415g or 15oz tin of Heinz beans , or other beans you like.

2 garlic cloves

Water

Mashed potato

3 or 4 Finely chopped spring onions (scallions)

Half a pound of grated strong cheddar.

Salt and pepper.

Method:

Set oven to 350°F, 180°C or Gas Mk 4.

Chop the onion and fry it in the oil until coloured but not burnt.

Break the minced beef up and fry it quickly with the onions until cooked through.

Add crushed garlic cloves and cook for a minute or so.

 Add the stock cube, the tin of beans, as much Worcestershire sauce as you like and enough water to stop the meat filling from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season if needed.

Cook for a few minutes and then slap the whole lot into a wide flat casserole dish. Let it cool for a while, so it firms up slightly.

Mix chopped spring onions into potato, season with salt and pepper and spread over meat.

Spread grated cheese evenly on top and bake in oven for about 30 – 50 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Variation: Sometimes I salt and fry a medium size, sliced aubergine (eggplant) and layer it with the meat. It works quite well!

Do not share. Makes four portions so you could eat one half after making it and take the rest to work for your lunch the next day.

[identity profile] alexcat.livejournal.com
To all of you out there - I'm currently looking for good mac and cheese recipes. If you've got 'em, post them here! I think I'll try to do this once every week or two and give you all a chance to post some new recipes. Please pimp this community too. We can use lots of good cooks and even more important, good food.
[identity profile] zeedrippyvessel.livejournal.com
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
Dried beans or rice
1/2 pound lean ground beef (I used mored)
1 medium zucchini, shredded (I used a large one)
3 green onions sliced (love my kitchenscissors)
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (we bypassed hte mushrooms)
1 TBL all purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Swiss CHeese
1 and 1/2 tspn chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried thyme leaves (I used more)
1/2 t salt
dash black pepper
dash ground red pepper

1. Preheat oven to 475 F. Line pie shell with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake 8 minutes.

Remove from oven, carefully remove foil and beans, return pie shell to oven and continue baking 4 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven temp to 375F

2. Brown ground beef in medium skillet, stirring to break up meat. Drain. Add zucchini, onions nad mushcrooms, cook. Stir occasionally until veggies are tender, like sweet virgins! STir in flour, cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. REmove from heat.

3. Combine milk, eggs, cheese and seasonings in medium bol. Stir into beef mixture, pou8r into crust. Bake 35 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

I was informed by Spawn to make TWO pies next time... he inhaled this and I just got a little slice. THis is supposed to make six servings.

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