Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baked Three-Cheese Macaroni

My blog looks so empty!  I have certainly been cooking, but, unfortunately, I have not yet had time to blog about what I have been making.  Last week was very busy, so I ended up making simple things like  grilled chicken salad, breakfast-for-dinner, and soup.  Then, one of my good friends was visiting for the weekend (see the darling measuring cups in the pictures--they are from her!), so I was cooking for two.  Rest assured, though, that the crepes and molten chocolate cakes I made for her this weekend will soon be featured.  I also took her apple picking with my mother and my sister Mia, so you may expect an apple-crumble-pie-for-one recipe (I still have mini frozen pie crusts)!

Anyway, as it is October, I think that "comfort food" recipes are now appropriate. Well, that, and I saw an inspirational recipe for three-cheese macaroni in my Martha Stewart Living October magazine.  This is not the same recipe, but it is similar as I did choose to use the same cheeses to make the cheese sauce.  It is very good and very filling, and the best part about it is that it makes enough for dinner tonight and a side dish for another night later in the week!

1 ½ cup small pasta (like macaroni)

¾ cup milk (preferably whole milk) or heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon flour

¼ cup cheddar cheese

¼ cup Gruyere cheese

¼ cup Fontina cheese
Salt (or garlic salt), pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
Extra cheese to top

Note:  If you don't want to buy both Gruyere and Fontina cheese, buy one and use a 1/2 cup of it.  They are both semi-soft cheeses and can easily be substituted for each other.

  1. Set water to boil for the pasta.  When the water is boiling, add the pasta, and cook according the directions on the package. 
  2. While the water is boiling or while the pasta is cooking, put the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan to melt over medium heat.  Cook the butter until it begins bubbling, and then stir in the flour.  Cook for one minute.
  3. When the flour-butter mixture has cooked, slowly add the milk, and stir to combine.  When the flour-butter mixture and the milk are well combined, add the cheeses to the sauce and stir to melt.  Add a little salt or garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste.
  4. When the pasta is done cooking, drain, and combine with the cheese sauce.  Put pasta-cheese mixture into a greased large ramekin and a custard cup.  Alternatively, you could fill 3 or 4 custard cups.
  5. Top with extra cheese, and bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes.  The cheese will be melted and starting to brown when they are ready.
  6. Enjoy dinner tonight (the large ramekin) and a side dish tomorrow night (the custard cup)!

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