When Michael and I were just friends, he used to brag about this amazing Mac n’ Cheese recipe that he made when he was trying to impress a lady. I scoffed at it because while mac n’ cheese is pretty amazing, I couldn’t imagine it would make me fall for a guy because it was so good. 😉 When we started dating he made it for me. Michael is kind of a goof and tries to offend as many people as possible (hence the name of the Mac n’ Cheese). Lucky for him it takes a lot to offend me!
In an effort of keep this post PG-13 Rated, I won’t talk about my panties but I WILL say that I was convinced. The Mac n’ Cheese is literally to die for. Whenever we make it for friends or family they moan in bliss with every bite.
I think one thing that makes this recipe so dang delicious is the Gruyere cheese. I hate to admit it, but I was strictly a Blue Box Girl for years. Especially in my single days! I wasn’t really adventurous when it came to cooking, or trying new recipes. But dang, Martha knows her stuff!
Sunday night when we got home from Hood River and were done with house chores, Michael made the dish. It had been months since we made it. I opened a new bottle of Chardonnay that we got this weekend.
The only thing we’ve done differently with this perfected recipe is adding sliced bratwursts to it. We don’t always add sausage to it, but it is a delicious addition and I was extra hungry after our bike ride. I bought the spicy bratwursts this time and it made the mac n’ cheese extra spicy.
Be Warned: This recipe is NOT diet friendly. But it’s a nice splurge a few times a year. We make it probably 3 or 4 times a year–usually in the winter time or for potlucks (and family parties). According to the Recipe Analyzer, this recipe is around 600 calories a serving.
Michael’s Panty Droppin’ Mac n’ Cheese
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
- 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
- Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
- Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.
From Martha Stewart Living, January 2001
The other thing that’s awesome about this recipe is the crusty yumminess of the bread squares on top of the casserole.
We have leftovers for dinner later this week. I probably won’t add the sausage to the leftovers. This recipe is so popular that people request it now. Michael’s office Christmas party is a potluck each year and Michael is basically ordered to make it. 🙂 My family also requests the mac n’ cheese!
QUESTION: Do you have a recipe that’s your Go-To-Recipe when trying to impress people? What is it?