Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Italian Mac & Cheese

There are so many ways to make/prepare Macaroni and Cheese. Being the post graduate (about 4 months out) I am still a fan of the original Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this is only because I have yet to experiment with the dish and/or travel to various locations to sample up-scale M&C.

I would like to note that I am a fan of the Kraft M&C because you can control how much of the various ingredients go into the final product. Take, for instance, my friend K. She likes to make M&C where there is more milk, ie, a more soupy M&C. I, on the other hand, like a more creamy M&C so I add less milk and a moderate amount of butter (but still less than what the box calls for).

I am not a fan of the M&C that are overly just grosses me out...but I do like M&C that are made with various cheeses...and one of them HAS to be cheddar...I am not a fan of white sauce M&C because it reminds me too much of an Alfredo sauce and I do not like most Alfredo sauces...its a childhood old memory...Anywho...

My family did try a new recipe one weekend at the cabin and it was a hit! I liked it, but it was not my favorite, but it is totally worth sharing because it is very good and very different from the classic M&C. We got it from Giada on the the Food Network and slightly modified it...but not too much!

Here it is!

~Mac & ChChChCheese~
(From Giada on Food Network)
12 oz. wide egg noodles
2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt + more for water
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. packed grated fontina
3/4 c. packed grater parmesan
3/4 c. packed grated mozzarella
4 oz. cooked ham, diced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on stovetop, liberaly salt the boiling water and cook noodles until tender but still firm to bite, stirring, about 5 min. Drain well but do not rinse. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream, milk, flour, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 c. of the fontina, 1/2 c. of the parmesan, 1/2 c. of the mozzarella, ham, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Spray a 13 x 9 in. pan with non-stick spray and transfer the noodle mixture to the dish. Toss the remaining cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over the noodles. Bake for 20 min. or until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top. Let stand for about 10 min. before serving. Enjoy!

For this recipe I just went to the meat counter and got the thickest slices of deli ham that I could get. It worked wonderful! I have also done this recipe with skim milk instead of the whole milk. It was okay, but the whole is much more thick and yummy...and more rich! I hope that you enjoy this recipe as a deviation from the basic blue box!

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy!

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