barely 24 hours since the first post, and not only has my buddy E requested i post my fave mac and cheese recipe, but i posted two book reviews yesterday. impressive!
food first, so you have something to eat while you read.
Baked Mac & Cheese
1 lb twisty or small shell pasta
3 cups grated cheese (you should have a blend of at least 2 kinds of cheese)
2 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
4 green onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
can tuna fish, drained
can pre-cooked chicken, drained
1-2 cups frozen veggies such as corn, carrots, broccoli, or peas.
preheat oven to 350
cook pasta in boiling water until just nearly done. drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and it can stay in the colander in the sink. into the same pot, melt the 2 tbsp butter over med-low heat. slowing whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. the mixture will start to turn brown. this is good. slowly whisk in the milk, then add the green onions, bay leaf and maybe 1/2 tsp paprika. let this mixture simmer and thicken for about 10 minutes, stirring often, as it will form a skin otherwise. turn the heat off, and stir in 2/3 of your cheese. this is also the time to add some salt and pepper, and any optional fish, chicken, or veggies you want to add.
stir it all up really good, adjust any seasonings to your taste. pour half of it into a greases 9x9 baking dish, or casserole of similar volume. do a layer of half your remaining cheese, then do another layer of the rest of the cheesy macaroni mixture, then finish off with a layer of the rest of the cheese.
in a small microwave save bowl, melt the remaining butter in the microwave. stir in the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle this mixture over the mac & cheese. put it in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown, and the cheese is all bubbly. let it stand a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, so it can firm up a bit.
and what goes better with home made mac and cheese than a good book?
book reviews that went up on Sci Fi Haven the other day are A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller, Jr, and Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. i liked them both tremendously, and they are both very moving stories, albeit in incredibly different ways. they are making a movie of Stardust, by the way.
thanks to some charity (read: take these books or they will get thrown away) at work, i'm now the proud owner of "Timeline", by Michael Chricton, and "Nightmares & Dreamscapes", by Stephen King. Also just started reading "Eifelheim", by Michael Flynn, and getting through "Dr. Futurity", by Philip K Dick, for my Reading Group