Recipe: Mac and Cheese

When Ginny and I moved into our home back in 2009. It gave us the opportunity to host a Christmas Day dinner. I had decided on my main entrée was going to be a Prime Rib with comfort foods on the side. A mainstay for me is Mac and Cheese…a nice piece of beef with cheese and heartiness of Mac and Cheese I think is a prefect combo.

After much searching I decided that I would try Ina Gartens, Mac and Cheese recipe. You can find it here.

The recipe is below but with a  few of my modifications.

     Kosher salt
     Vegetable oil
     1 pound elbow macaroni
     1 quart milk
     8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
     8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
     1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
     1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
     1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

I recently was asked to make this for my wife’s pot luck. I couldn’t make it to the deli that I usually go to, so I went to my local Vons. The Gruyere cheese was almost $23 a pound, yikes! So I went in search and I found a medium sharp cheddar cheese from Talllimok Cheese. Thirty-two ounces of cheese for $8 on sale. It was a really good alternative, it did make the mac a little less nutty in flavor but I thought overall no one would ever notice.

Hope you make this for your next family or work get together.


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