I’ve just been getting over a two-week long debilitating sinus infection. It started as a head cold and then progressed into an infection. The first round of antibiotics didn’t work~ so it was a long recovery process!
Yesterday I was finally feeling up to cooking for the first time in WEEKS and I decided to make a comfort dish. What’s more comforting than mac & cheese? Um. Cheese = Comfort in my book. Agreed? Okay then moving on!
I started with this recipe and made some additions/deletions based on what I had in the pantry/fridge. The result was cheesey amazingness 🙂
- 3/4 lb small pasta (I used elbow)
- 4 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 3 heaping Tbsp flour
- 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
- dash red chili peppers or hot sauce
- 1-1.5 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 c. skim milk
- 1 lbs sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2-4 oz smoked gouda, shredded
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 oz parmesan, freshly shredded
In a medium pan, boil water. Add in noodles and cook for 5-8 min until al dente. Drain & set aside
In another pan (I used my le creuset dutch oven), melt butter. Add in the garlic & chili peppers. Cook for approx one minute. Then add the flour to the pan whisking constantly until flour is fully incorporated. At this point, gradually stream in the chicken broth, milk & half and half a little at a time fully incorporating the liquid before adding any more. Once all the liquid has been incorporated, cook for 5-10 min more until thickened.
Take the dish off the heat and stir in the cheese. Toss in the pasta & stir. I added about 1 tsp of salt & a few turns of pepper at this point.
Top with the mixture of saltines, butter & parmesan.
Bake, uncovered at 400 for approximately 20-30 minutes until the top is brown & crunchy. Enjoy!
I’d post a photo, but Pax, Steve and I ate this for dinner two nights in a row (and if we’re being honest… lunch today too!) and it is all GONE. Whoops!