Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One Skillet Mac & Cheese

I love traditional Mac & Cheese recipes but am always looking for ways to simplify the process. And, because I have almost always lived in potential drought conditions,  I have a problem with dumping the big pot of water used to boil the noodles. So I was thrilled to find this recipe from Martha Stewart Living which cooks everything in one pot...the cheese sauce is the liquid used to cook the macaroni.  Fantastic.

When I post a recipe, it is usually a dish that I have created or one that I made so many tweaks to someone else's version that I list "adapted from" to give proper credit. This Mac & Cheese is an exception in that I followed the instructions exactly and made only minor, insignificant changes to the ingredients. My purpose today is to share this cheesy deliciousness and to provide some tips that I learned while testing. My hints are listed in red font. MSL provided a video with further clarification. Click here to view...and make this tonight!  Enjoy.

One Skillet Mac & Cheese
(from Martha Stewart Living)
serves 8

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat panko)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used shredded)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 6 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 pound elbow macaroni (I used regular and gluten-free without any difference)
  • 3 cups grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Heat broiler. In a large straight-sided, oven-safe skillet, melt butter. Remove 1 tablespoon butter and combine with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  • Add onion to skillet and cook until softened. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Very gradually whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Add macaroni and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until tender, about 6 minutes. (This is where you will need to experiment. Some comments on the MSL site stated their final result was gummy. I found that the noodles at this point need to be very al dente...not hard...but with a lot of texture. The noodles will continue cooking in the following steps. I found that 5 minutes of cooking worked for me, but everyone will be different due to elevation, stovetops and your definition of "simmer." My version had small bubbles around the sides of the pan. I made this dish a couple of times to get it right for me. Do not be afraid to test. Just try not to overcook at this stage.) Remove from heat, stir in remaining cheese and the mustard, and season with salt and pepper. (Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. Again, the noodles will continue cooking, so work quickly during this step. Top with breadcrumb mixture and broil until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. (Watch closely so your topping gets good and brown but does not burn)
  • Click Here For Printer Friendly Recipe
It is Mac & Cheese week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast roundup. Do you have a favorite mac & cheese recipe to share? Please list (or link) in the comments below. And be sure to check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: White Cheddar Mac 'n Cheese Casserole
Creative Culinary: 
Green Chile Mac and Cheese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Bang Bang Cauliflower Mac ’n Cheese
The Mom 100: 
Creamy Four Cheese Penne Rigate
Healthy Eats: 
5 Reasons to Put Down That Box of Mac and Cheese
Taste with the Eyes: 
Mac and Cheese, Ham, Carrot, Celery, Onion {gluten-free}
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Cacio e Pepe
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
One Skillet Mac & Cheese
Red or Green: 
Three Perfect Mac & Cheese Recipes For Winter
From My Corner of Saratoga: 
Buffalo Mac n Cheese Recipe
FN Dish: 
Here's How to Eat Mac and Cheese for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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