Cooking School/ Macaroni and Cheese
1 cube butter (or the equivalent of ½ cup of butter)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. chicken bullion (or 1/2 cube Knorr’s chicken bullion cube)
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. lowery’s seasoned salt
dash of pepper
dash of nutmeg
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or shredded Mexican cheese from Costco)
2 cups gruyere (I’ve also used jarlsberg in a pinch and it was magnificent.)
½ cup breadcrumbs (optional)
1. Make sure your cheese is shredded. If it’s not, shred your cheese right now. Mix the two types of cheese together in a big bowl.
2. Put large pot of water on high heat. Sprinkle 1 heaping Tablespoon of salt in the water.
3. Make your breadcrumbs. (you do this by tossing torn bits of 2 pieces of bread and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a pan over medium heat. Toss the butter and bread bits around and around until they are a beautiful golden brown. Set aside.)
4. Start your white sauce (which you now know is really béchamel). In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, melt 1 cube of butter. Don’t burn the butter! Stay by the butter! Don’t leave the butter!
5. Once butter is completely melted, add ¼ cup flour. Whisk for two minutes so the flour can absorb the butter.
6. Add 2 cups milk, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard, 1 ½ teaspoons lowery’s seasoning salt, a dash of pepper and a dash of nutmeg. With a wooden spoon or whisk, continue stirring béchamel over medium heat until sauce is thickened. You will know it is thick enough when it can coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 15 minutes and you CAN’T walk away from the sauce or it will burn. You have to stand by the sauce and stir it constantly.
7. Once your pasta water is boiling, add pasta and stir. Boil pasta until it is al dente. (At this point you will have two pots going: one with the béchamel and one with the boiling pasta)
8. Set up an assembly area that consists of: béchamel, shredded cheese, cooked pasta, and bread crumbs.
9. In a casserole dish that can be any shape or size (assuming you can fit everything in there!), layer the pasta and cheese (NOT the sauce and bread crumbs) in this order:
half of the pasta/ half of the shredded cheese
The last half of the pasta/ the last half of the shredded cheese
10. Pour the béchamel over the top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs on top.
11. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 or until you see the béchamel bubbling and the cheese completely melted. Oh my.