My favorite comfort food, and the one I will be indulging in today (thanks, economy!) is the old standby, Mac n Cheese.
I like foods that are essentially vehicles for fatty and unhealthy things, and Mac n Cheese takes the cake (cheese cake?). All kinds of Mac n Cheese make me happy--it's pretty hard to go wrong with pasta + cheese--and, admittedly, I probably indulge about every week or so. I've even ordered it in restaurants (like Zoe's! A cute little diner. I never go there any more though, because for a while every time Dave and I went there we'd get into a fight and finally the mac n cheese just wasn't worth it). I'm impressed with people who make their own mac n cheese (Dave's mom's is sooo good), but I'm also pretty happy with the stuff straight from the box, which I often like to dress up with some feta cheese and fresh pepper.
I got this recipe from Nick, the sixteen-year-old food blogger, who got it from Alton Brown. Nick, of course, made it after his own disappointing day (midterms, ugh). I also saw a deep-fried version where you wrap chunks of mac n cheese in bacon and fry them, but I'm having a bad day, not a death wish.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
12 oz English Cheddar
2 cups elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 bay leaf
3 cups whole milk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
additional 1/4 cup butter
preheat oven to 350Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente (about 6 minutes)
Cook 3 tbs butter over medium heat until bubbling subsides.
Whisk in 3 tbs flour and let cook for about 3 minutes to achieve a nice blond color.
Whisk in mustard powder, paprika, onions, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt.Slowly whisk in the 3 cups of milk.
Continue whisking and bring liquid to a simmer to thicken, then remove from heat.
Beat an egg in a separate bowl.Temper the egg by adding a few tbs of the sauce to the bowl with the egg while whisking quickly.
Whisking quickly, add the egg mixture back into the original sauce.
Whisk in about 3/4 of the cheese, then add the noodles.
Place the whole mixture in a round corning ware.Melt the addition 1/4 cup butter then mix with the panko.
Add this panko mixture and the remaining cheese to the topBake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Image by Meeeeee!