Mac and Cheese – True Comfort Food

Recipes in this post

So, yesterday as I am walking around Glendale with my son, I have this craving for comfort food, specifically Mac and Cheese. I ask my son if he would like Mac and Cheese and he is, at only five years old, thrilled.

We’re around Chevy Chase and Brand, and I am inspired by the wonderful Mac and Cheese at Eat Well on Brand. So, we walk towards Albertson’s and my son is telling me that we don’t have to go to the store to get Mac and Cheese because Stephen had just bought Mac and Cheese in a box from Trader Joe’s. It’s good, but I was craving the real thing, and I said that to my son. He was confused.

We walked around the store for a while and I was thinking about what kind of Mac and Cheese I wanted to make. Did I want to spend time and money, or just go for the Kraft Deluxe and add some of my own fixin’s?

Tillamook White Cheddar was on sale – that made up my mind. Then it was just a matter of getting pasta, and I was done.

When we got home, I started making my Mac and Cheese. Stephen was interested in seeing what actually goes into making the stuff. I also decided I wanted mine to be a little different.

It was truly a wonderful dish, and here is the recipe to share with you.

Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Macaroni

  • Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small shallot or 1 teaspoon shallots in oil
  • 8 oz White Cheddar
  • 4 oz Sharp Yellow Cheddar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp Russian mustard or dry English mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Freshly grated pepper
  • 1 cup milk (or so)
  • 1 bay leaf

Topping

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Bread Crumbs

Instructions

  1. Get a large casserole and preheat your oven for 350.
  2. Grate cheese and set aside. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add salt to the water.
  3. Mince the shallot if you are not using shallots in oil..
  4. While the water is coming to a boil, get a large saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the shallots and sauté them until they are translucent.
  5. Add the mustard and mix it in thoroughly. Add the flour and stir to completely incorporate it into the butter. Make sure there are no lumps of flour.
  6. Add nutmeg, and pepper. Continue to stir constantly. The flour will now be ready to accept the milk.
  7. Pour three quarters of the milk into the butter/flour mixture, the Worcestershire, cayenne, and bay leaf. Stir until thickened. You may not need the entire cup of milk, but add if needed. You should cook the sauce for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened nicely. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Drain the pasta and put it into a very large bowl.
  9. Add the cheese to the pasta in the bowl and cover with the sauce.
  10. Toss the mixture together then put it into the casserole.
  11. Melt the remaining butter.
  12. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the macaroni then drizzle the butter on top.
  13. Place in the oven, and bake 20 minutes.
  14. Enjoy!

Quick notes

Freshly grated bread crumbs are best, but Panko or regular bread crumbs will do fine.

Variations

You can keep some of the cheese in chunks, so you will get clumps of cheese when you eat it. Our family particularly likes this. You can also add some fresh mozzarella to the cheeses if you want.

If you are extra sensitive to heat, omit the cayenne, although there is so little it should have virtually no heat.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Chicken Liver Pâté with Cornichons and Blue Cheese Butter

The award for Best Appetizer at the Fil-Am Kiwanis function went to yours truly for the Country French Pâté with Blue Cheese Butter Spread and Cornichons. I didn’t win for my Ultimate Sour Cherry Fudge Cake, but who cares, right? The Oreo truffles won, and they were truly fantastic!

 

Country French Pate with Blue Cheese Butter and Cornichons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Liver
  • 1/2 pound Butter
  • 1 1/3 Garlic
  • 1/3 Onion
  • 2/3 tablespoon Country Style Pate Spice
  • 1/3 cup Red wine

Instructions

  1. Dry and clean chicken livers. Chop onion and garlic finely. Sweat garlic and onion in a little butter. Set aside. Saute chicken livers. Add onion mixture. Add red wine and pate spice. Let cook down until almost all liquid is reduced. Place mixture in food processor. Process and let cool. Cream butter separately. Fold in cooled liver mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  2. At this point, you can put it into a nice bowl or crock. You can also roll it in wax paper.
  3. Chill the pate over night. If you rolled it up, slice it for putting on toast. If you did not roll it up, it is advisable to let it come to just about room temperature before serving.

Quick notes

If you want a lot of pate, just increase the amount of chicken livers. This is a real crowd pleaser, even for people who do not like pate, and especially those who do not like liver.

Recipe Links

Recipe for the Country Pate Spice.

Preparation time: 24 hours

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

Calories: 392

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.

 

Country Pate Spice

Summary: This is the spice for Country Pate

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Green Pepper Corn
  • 1/3 ounce Dry Pimento
  • 1/3 ounce Mace
  • 3/4 ounce Paprika
  • 1/3 ounce Coriander
  • 1/3 ounce Thyme
  • 1/4 ounce Rosemary
  • 1/8 ounce Marjoram
  • 1/8 ounce Clove
  • 1/3 ounce Bay leaf
  • 1/3 ounce Allspice

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in clean coffee grinder and process.

Quick notes

All ingredients are dry ingredients. If you can’t find dried pimento, omit it and use a bit more paprika. You can keep put the spice into a clean glass jar, top it and use it when ever the mood strikes.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.

 

Blue Cheese Butter

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound Sweet butter
  • 1/4 pound Blue Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process. You can roll it or put it into a container at this point. It should be chilled in the refrigerator overnight. If you are going to slice it, do not bring it to room temperature, but if you are going to serve it from a container, then leave it out for a while before serving.

Quick notes

The longer the mixture sits, the more flavorful it becomes. Use only sweet butter, as using salted butter would make the product too salty.

This is beautiful served with Melba Toasts.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

Calories: 120

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.