My second daughter just barely made it home yesterday after she and her boyfriend were stranded for the night in the Denver airport. They slept on the floor and she had to unpack her bag and cover herself with clothes just to keep warm… so I suddenly have a fuller house, and kitchen, than we’ve had all year. And even though it’s just a few days till Christmas I still need to feed everybody, preferably on a regular basis, and preferably without a lot of fuss because, eeeps, I’ve got stuff to do…lots of stuff to do. I made this cozy and quick weeknight meal slightly less predictable by using lots of smoked Gouda cheese. I picked up a huge block of the stuff at Costco the other day, in fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a bigger hunk of cheese, and I really went to town with it in in this dish. There’s nothing earth shattering about it, just a creamy basic jazzed up with a nice smokey flavor.
I’m loyal to my favorite mac and cheese recipe because it always turns out perfectly and is easy to remember since everything is in denominations of “2” — 2 cups of pasta, 2 tablespoons of butter & flour, 2 cups of milk. 2 cups of cheese. In this case I topped the finished dish with even more of that smokey Gouda and ran it under the broiler. What’s not to like?
- 2 rounded cups dry macaroni, cooked in well salted water until just al dente, and drained
- 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups grated smoked Gouda cheese, plus more for topping
- Set oven to 350F
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Whisk to combine, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
- Add the milk and whisk to combine, continuing to heat until the milk comes to a simmer and is thickened.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cheese, stir until all of the cheese is incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Mix the macaroni with the sauce, and pour into a baking dish or individual dishes. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbling throughout.
- Sprinkle more cheese on top and put under the broiler until the cheese is browned.
This warmed my daughter right up, and it’ll do the same for your crew, but it’s rich stuff, I would dole it out in small portions and serve with a salad. Now I’ve got to tackle that wheel of Brie and boulder sized wedge of cheddar…I have no self control at Costco!
Enjoy your week!