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Seasons change and so do our eating habits for the most part. And with cooler temps, come comfort food. Food blogger and Brooklynite, Sanura Weathers shares her recipe for macaroni and cheese. It’s definitely in a league of its own, and once you taste it, you will surely agree. Try this recipe and let us know what you think.
2-1/2 cups milk2 bay leaves
1 lb. penne or elbow pasta; cooked al dente according to the directions, rinse with cold water and drain, drizzle with olive oil
1/2 stick (4 tbsp.) butter
3 tbsp. flour
Salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
1/8 tsp. smoked spanish paprika
8 to 10 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese; grated
8 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano; grated
8 oz. aged Gouda; grated
Garnish: Bread crumbs, quartered tomatoes or extra grated cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish with olive oil or butter.
2. Combine milk and bay leaves in a small pot. Before the milk boils, turn off heat. Cover and place milk aside. Mix all the grated cheeses together and place aside.
3. To make a white bechamel sauce: In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it’s foamy. Whisk in the flour. After a few minutes, the mixture will brown. Whisk in a quarter cup of the warm milk that was placed aside in step 2. Mix until smooth. Repeat by adding more milk by a quarter cup, but discard the bay leaves. Whisk the mixture the whole time. Even when all of the milk is added to the sauce, continue whisking until the mixture is thick and smooth. Don’t let it boil.
4. Whisk in a bit more than 1/2 the amount of the grated cheeses. Continue whisking until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
5. In a large bowl, mix the cheesy, white bechamel sauce, the second half of the grated cheeses (place about a 1/4 cup aside for garnish), and the pasta together.
6. Place Macaroni and Cheese mixture in the buttered baking dish (see step 1).
7. Top with the rest of the 1/4 cup of the grated cheeses. If desired, garnish with bread crumbs or tomato slices (recommend using tomatoes in the summer).
8. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.
9. Enjoy this comfort dish straight from the oven.
Sanura Weathers blogs about food at MyLifeRunsonFood. The Brooklyn resident shares all sorts of food recipes, family stories, etc. with engaging commentary. Ms. Weathers is also a contributor to healthyblackmen.org.