I'm not much of a measure-er in the kitchen. For the most part I just slosh things around in pots muttering to myself like that Swedish chef from the Muppets and hope things come out ok. Usually they do . . . but in the case of macaroni and cheese there are widely varied versions of "OK". I've had some results that were just "nice" and others that were mind blowing, almost religious experiences. And yes, I am quite fond of cheese, thanks for asking.
So, last night I measured. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being Kraft Easy Mac and 10 being coma inducing) my results were about a 7. This won't be the last time I post on Mac and Cheese . . . I'm on a mission to make a "10".
Mac and Cheese, Take 1:
1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 lb extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup and 1/4 cup packaged shredded Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, etc.)
2 cups milk
3 tblsp butter
3 tblsp flour
sprinkling of kosher salt for cheese sauce and lots of salt for pasta water
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
-boil pasta in very salty water for 2 minutes fewer than the package instructs. Drain and set aside.
-place butter, onions, shallots and salt in a stock pot over low heat and cook, stirring until butter melts and onions start to become translucent (about 3 minutes)
-add flour and cook for a minute or two more
-add milk and let simmer until the mixture starts to thicken (about 7 minutes)
-add cheeses (reserving 1/4 cup Italian cheeses) and stir until melted
-mix in pasta and tip into a casserole dish
-cover evenly with 1/4 cup each cheese and bread crumbs
-bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until top is brown and cheese sauce is bubbling at the sides of the dish
-try to let cool for a minute or two before shoveling into your face
Listening: Band of Horses- "The Funeral"