Monday, December 10, 2007

The Macaroni & Cheese Project: Recipe 002

Non-stick cooking spray
Salt
3 cups elbow macaroni
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/3 cups 1 percent milk
3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded non-fat cheddar 4 ounces processed light American cheese (recommended: Velveeta Light)
1/2 cup Japanese (panko) bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt water, add macaroni, and cook until al dente. Drain into a colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, and then set aside.

While pasta is cooking, combine flour and milk in a large saucepan, whisking until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cheeses and cook until melted and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top. Bake until bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.

THE VERDICT:

DIFFICULTY:
Moderate. This recipe requires making a cheese sauce, which isn't difficult at all, but does add a few extra steps and cheeses.

TEXTURE:
Creamy yet just chunky/dry enough. Not greasy at all. The Velveeta makes it just creamy enough and it doesn't come out all stringy.

TASTE:
The variation of cheeses really add a lot of flavor to this recipe. I really like the addition of the fontina and parmigiano-reggiano as they add the right amount of zip.

REHEAT FACTOR:
This gets dry once reheated. A small dot of butter is required to get the creaminess back.

OVERALL:
I especially like this recipe because it cuts about 1/2 of the calories by using the Velveeta Light, non fat cheddar and lowfat milk. This recipe is one of my favorites and I've made it several times.
I give this recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

2 comments:

Katie said...

Wow, this looks soooooo good!

Lunch Buckets said...

I've pretty much given up on my quest for the perfect mac&cheese, but I wish you luck!