Welcome to my kitchen! This is a blog that is evolving as my life does. I like food, but I don't have all the time in the world to cook. So lately, I'm going with simple, easy recipes. I may switch that up occassionally and post something time-intensive, but that isn't what I'm about these days. If that sounds like you - I hope you enjoy some of these recipes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ina Garten's Macaroni and Cheese

Sorry for the delay in posting... I haven't been cooking too much lately, other than quite bland foods that sound good to me at the time.  Because - I'm pregnant!  :)  Yay!  Although it doesn't inspire my palate in the least so I have had to cut back on the posting.  I will try my best to keep up better these next few months.

Onward to my first post in 2 months!

Because I had heard such great things, and because I love mac n' cheese.... I had to make this recipe for my own peace of mind.  And let me tell you - it's good people.  I loved the flavor of the Gruyere cheese and thought it added a twist to your regular mac n' cheese.  The cheese was creamy, and the topping added just enough crunch.  The tomatoes were perfectly cooked and I loved them, but if you didn't they're easy enough to pick out.

Barefoot Contessa Mac and Cheese
source: Foodnetwork.com, slightly adapted by Amy's New Kitchen
Serves 8

  • Sea salt
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 qt milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 small fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or Panko
Preheat oven to 375.

Cook pasta according to directions in salted water.  Al dente is my preference.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the milk in a small saucepan, be careful to keep it from boiling.  Melt 6 Tbsp butter in a large pot and add the flour.  Cook on low heat for 2 minutes and continually stirring with a whisk.  Continue whisking then add in the hot milk and cook until thickened slightly and smooth.  Remove from heat and add the cheeses, 1 Tbsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add in the cooked macaroni and stir well.  Pour into a baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top of the mac.  Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and combine with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the mac and tomatoes.  Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are slightly browned.

So this is healthy because it has tomatoes in it, right?  :)  Doesn't matter -it's worth all those delicious calories.