Saturday, May 28, 2011

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese

3 Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese with Fontina, American and Parmesan

My grandmother Mimi always has a medley of classics at the Bruno family lunch table, and mac and cheese is one of them. Unfortunately, its not that great. I mean don't get me wrong, it's good. But its not something i'd day dream about. My father also claims that he makes a stellar mac and cheese. Although my dad is a great cook, sorry pop, but your mac and cheese doesn't really fit the bill either. Therefore I have decided to take some responsibility and search for the BEST baked mac and cheese recipe out there. Enough is enough. If we insist upon having mac and cheese at every major holiday, then it better be some damn good mac and cheese, right? I found a recipe via food gawker (which is like internet crack for the food obsessed, like myself) that tweeked a little. It may not be the best recipe ever, but it definitely has potential.

This is based off of a recipe I found on Annie's Eats which you can find here

1 lb (1 bag) small pasta shells
4 tablespoons divided, plus another tablespoon melted
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Fontina Cheese
1 cup American Cheese
1/4 Parmesan Cheese 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

First I want to start by saying I think this recipe turned out slightly dry, so I would suggest another cup of heavy cream and at least a half a cup of both cheeses. Also, unless you are wild about bread crumbs, I would reduce the bread crumbs to at least 1/4, if not less. OR just don't bake it at all or add the bread crumbs. I thought it tasted pretty good before the baking happened (minus the fact that the shells where undercooked)

Aight to the directions:
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and cook the pasta according to the packaging until slightly undercooked. (my bag said 10 minutes so I cooked it for about 6 1/2 minutes) If you don't plan on baking the mac and cheese, then cook the pasta completely. Butter a casserole dish (2 -quart) and set aside.
Put the 4 tablespoons of butter in a large mixing bowl and microwave the cream for about 40 seconds. When the pasta is finished, add it to the bowl and stir until the butter is melted. Then add the cream and cheeses and stir until the cheese has basically melted. (so here is where you can either stop or keep going - it's up to you)
In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Pour the pasta into the casserole dish and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top until it is completely covered.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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