Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Insanely Delicious Mac 'n Cheese with Kale

From fineCooking Magazine  My creation from Feb/March 2012 "Create Your Own Recipe"

Printable Recipe
Prep & Stove-top time: Baking time: 15 minutes
Serves 6  makes awesome left over lunches

1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups coarse bread crumbs - my favorite are Japanese Panko crumbs (this time I actually had made my own of whole grain bread crusts,  cut into cubes, pulsed in a food processor, toasted and kept in the freezer)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Cheese Sauce:
10oz/285g grated hard cheese (I used sharp white cheddar & aged Gruyere - half & half)
1 cup grated Asiago (fC choices include Feta, mascarpone & soft goat cheese)
Herbs & Spices - I chose 1 tsp Aleppo pepper & 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1lb/450g of your favorite little pasta - I chose small shells
Add-ins:  3 cups
I chose chopped & sauteed purple kale, because I had a ton left over from an earlier meal)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.   Put up water to boil the pasta in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.

2. Prepare all your ingredients - grate the cheeses, measure herbs & spices, collect pasta & and whatever add-ins you're in the mood for. 

3. Prepare the topping - In a medium sized bowl, mix the garlic with the butter and then add the breadcrumbs, toss well and set aside.

4. Make the cheese sauce - 

  • Melt the butter in a heavy 4 quart saucepan over low heat.  
  • Whisk in the flour, constantly whisking for 3 minutes or until the flour mixture froths and bubbles without coloring.  
  • Slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth - don't forget to get close to the edges of the pot.  It should have the consistency of thick cream (about 6 minutes).
  • Raise the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer, (tiny bubbles around the sides of the pan and gentle bubbling in the center) whisking constantly.
  • Lower the heat again and gently simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and gently whisk in the cheeses, herbs and spices.
  • Season to taste and keep warm.
5. Cook the pasta – Bring a large pot (Dutch oven) of water to a boil, Add salt, stir and then add the pasta.  Cook, stirring occasionally until al dente (usually 1 minute less than the package says).  Drain the pasta and return to the pot..

6. Add the "add-ins"- Add the cheese sauce to the pasta as well as whatever "add-ins" you prefer.  I added sauteed kale this time.  Stir gently to combine.  .

7. Baking: Transfer the pasta mixture to an 9x13" baking dish.  Scatter the top with the breadcrumb mixture.   Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden and the pasta bubbles a bit around the edges.

1 comment:

Caffettiera said...

I have a bad case of kale addiction, and mac'n'cheese is addictive on its own. I'll dream of this tonight :)