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Mac and Cheese (with tomatoes!)

August 24, 2011

This is truly a cooking and dog story. When buying ingredients to make this dish I had just finished putting my groceries away when I realized that a block of Gruyere was missing. I was SO annoyed because it was expensive and because whole foods isn’t really *that* close to my house. I was literally cussing the bagger when I stepped out into the front room to see my big dog Mabel having the BEST time eating up my cheese. Oh Mrs. Mabel, you are such a sneak!!

Hi, my name is Mabel. I LOVE Gruyere from whole foods!

Hi, my name is Mabel. I LOVE Gruyere from whole foods!

Anyway, I found this recipe a few weeks ago, and after watching Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag and their rave reviews of Ina Garten’s cookbook, I decided to try out this recipe as-is. (Well, mostly as-is!) As it has tomatoes on top I thought that it would be fun to have this to use up even more of my garden tomatoes. Everyone at work loved it so I guess it was a success! Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mac-and-cheese-recipe2/index.html

Ingredients:
Kosher Salt
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Steps:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, salt (to taste or around 1 tsp), pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Cheese, spices, flour and breadcrumbs

Cheese, spices, flour and breadcrumbs

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Right before the breadcrumbs

Right before the breadcrumbs - pretty tomatoes!

Final product

Final product - yum!

Tips:
1. Use different types of cheese if you don’t like cheddar or Gruyere
2. If your dog eats your Gruyere be happy that you bought extra at the store, but tell the whole foods worker you were cussing out in your head you’re sorry since he really didn’t forget to put the cheese in your bag.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 24, 2011 4:57 am

    Its great, add some crispy bacon and it is to die for!!! Go Mabel—welcome to the club of four legged food thieves (I have 3 myself)

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