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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

If you have kids then you know that no matter how adventuresome they can be there will always be days when they are tired or grouchy or just plain finicky and macaroni and cheese is the only thing that will make them happy. Which is fine. I’ve been known to fall back on the old blue and yellow box more often than I’m proud to admit. However, grown-ups like mac and cheese too and it’s hard not to start craving it when the kids order it at practically every restaurant they go to.

So, when I want to serve a meal that everyone at the table will eat, kids and grown-ups alike, and the mac and cheese hankering has hit me I avoid the box and go for something a bit more hearty and delicious. My kids have never seemed to notice that there is a touch of white wine in this recipe and have never turned their noses up at it to date. I can taste it and I think it makes all the difference. The alcohol cooks off, but it strikes just the right chord to cut through the heavy dairy-ness of all that cheese and butter and milk. I serve it with a salad on the side and everyone’s happy.

 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (I used cavatappi)
  • 4 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)
  • 6 tbsp AP flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups stock (I used chicken), warmed
  • 2 cups 2% milk, warmed
  • 4oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 5 oz cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Topping

  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot boil water and cook the pasta following the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a heavy bottomed soup pot put the butter on over medium heat and melt.
  4. When the butter is melted add in the four and whisk to combine. Allow the butter and flour combination to brown slightly.
  5. Add in the white wine and whisk vigorously.
  6. Add in the warmed stock and milk and whisk thoroughly to combine and eliminate lumps of flour.
  7. Stir it gently until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  8. Add in the jack cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, and 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine until smooth.
  9. Put the drained pasta in a large baking dish, top with the sauce, and stir to combine.
  10. In a small bowl mix together the panko breadcrumbs and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle it onto the pasta covering it completely.
  11. Cut the butter into tiny cubes and dot the top of the breadcrumbs with butter.
  12. Put the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.

Cooking time (duration): 45

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dinner