Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Comfort Me With Mac and Cheese

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Trying times such as these send me flying to the kitchen, seeking comfort in...well...comfort food.
And macaroni and cheese is at the very top of my list. Everybody, from the cradle to the grave, loves mac and cheese. So here's how I'm going to make it this time and I'm going to put it in ramekins so nobody eats all the topping:
Enough for 4 ramekins

8 ounces dry pasta, cooked according to package instructions and drained
4 T. butter + 1 more for the topping
3 T. flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of half and half
8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
8 T panko bread crumbs

Preheat the over to 350 degrees
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 T. butter over medium-high heat
Add the flour and whisk until smooth
add milk and half and half, continuing to whisk
bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low
add the cheese and stir until melted and creamy
add salt, pepper, and dry mustard
distribute evenly between ramekins and place a baking sheet underneath in case they overflow

melt 1 T. butter then mix in the crumbs
distribute evenly over the ramekins

bake for 10 - 12 minutes then put under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops are toasty brown.

What's your favorite comfort food in times of trouble?