As a first day of work present to myself I prepared mac and cheese. I have a well documented love of cheese and pasta! The both together is always amazing. I used a recipe from Barefoot Contessa but I altered it. I used her Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe as a base, but at the end when you add lobster I added veggies instead. I also used some Barefoot tips and tricks with varying degrees of success. Obviously I started by boiling brown pasta. I utilized Barefoot Tip #1: add olive oil to the pasta water so the pasta doesn’t stick.
This was a successful experiment! None of my pasta stuck which means that this is a success. While the pasta was boiling I took gruyere and cheddar and cut them up. Instead of the arm workout of grating cheese I attempted to use Barfoot tip #2: putting the cheese in the food processor to cut it. Ummm, not so successful:
I think it was because of the consistency of the cheese. Maybe it was too mushy? Well, moving on. I heated a 1/4 pint of milk in a sauce pan while I melted a 1/4 cup of butter in another pan with a little bit of flour.
and then we combine! This, according to Ina, is a traditional white sauce. I kept the heat on low and added nutmeg (which I ground with my Microplane, a product I love), pepper, salt, and the cheese. Then I mix and let melt.
This is where we separate from Ina and add our favorite things. I added tomato, broccoli, and leeks. Note: tonight I made this again and instead I used sundried tomato, leeks, arugula, and thyme!