Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sarahbelle's Superb MacCheese

Note:  This recipe, is the Gluten-Free version of my original, classic dish.  It differs from the original only in the grains used for the flour and the pasta.  Using traditional, wheat flour and pasta does not change any of the amounts, cooking times etc.    Easy cheesy.  {sorry. very bad pun.}
*Note 2:  the recipe calls for half-and-half, which I never buy.  I always have milk and heavy cream on hand, so why buy a third, seldom used ingredient??  If this does not apply to you, use half-and-half.
*Note3:  I like a mix of shapes.  Large Elbows are preferred by my family, and they come in a handy 1-lb. bag.  To that I like to add some farfalle. (bow ties).  I think it's pretty.  You should use whatever shape and size you like.


1/3 Cup  GF AP flour blend of your choice
1tsp Lawry's Seasoned salt
1/2  tsp  dry mustard
1/4 tsp  white pepper
 1/3 Cup butter   (NOT margarine  --  I'm NOT kidding!!!)
*1 qt. half-and-half
*1 1/4 lb. corn/rice macaroni.
Lots of cheese.
Lots of coarsely shredded cheese.
The details vary somewhat (according to what is on hand, in the fridge, or on sale), but one has some standards. (!)  here are mine:
Approximately 1 1/2 pounds, total, of which 1 pound must be Longhorn Colby.  [I am particularly fond of H-E-B's house brand, but if you don't live in Texas, you'll just have to do your best.], and 1 thick slice of Smoked Gouda, from the deli.  [I always have them cut 2 or 3 slices, to insure that 1 will actually go into the MacCheese.] For the remainder of the cheese, scour your fridge for leftover bits of Swiss, Cheddar, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Butterkase, Havarti, Fontina, Romano.  Avoid Mozzarella and Provolone as they tend to stretch a bit. On the other hand, if someone is coming to dinner that you don't particularly like - stretchy cheese can be funny.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter a deep 3-qt casserole dish or stoneware baker.
In small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, salt, mustard, pepper.  Set aside.
Fill stockpot with 6 quarts of water.  Bring to a boil.  Salt liberally.
While waiting for water to boil: in heavy 3-qt saucepan, over med-high heat, melt butter.  When butter  has begun to brown, take it off the stove, and whisk in dry ingredients.  Return to heat, and gradually add half-and-half, whisking to blend smoothly.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally while sauce thickens.  [BTW:  you just made a Basic White Sauce, here.  Keep this in your back pocket for the basis of many great sauces and casseroles.] When thickened, use a wooden or silicone spoon to add appr. 2/3 of shredded cheese.
Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente (Italian: "to the tooth"  ie: firm), drain well.
In buttered dish, layer half of pasta, third of remaining cheese, half of sauce.  Repeat.  Mix all layers somewhat.  Sprinkle on remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until bubbly, and smell is beginning to draw a crowd.

I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment