Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baked Molten Mac and Cheese

In my last post, I mentioned that I had just returned from a visit to San Luis Obispo. Well, Peter was a little jealous, so he planned a boys trip to SLO for this weekend. He and 6 of his old roommates are up there right now... so tonight, I am watching all my girly shows and chick flicks. Actually, Peter is a great sport at watching them with me, but I figured that I could get them all out of my system (and off of his DVR) while he isn't here so that he won't have to be such a good sport ALL of the time (or at least not this week) :) I also took this opportunity to cook one of my favorite dishes that Peter is not such a good sport about; Macaroni and Cheese!!! It is one of my absolute comfort foods, and always has been. Peter won't touch it, so the only chance I get to make it is when he's gone. This recipe is one that my sister and I played around with a few years ago, and have since made a few tweaks.

Of course, I will start with the shopping list for you:
16 oz. shredded cheddar (I like sharp, but any cheddar will do)
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
2 oz. shredded jack cheese
2 oz. cubed fontina
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
Ground Black Pepper
Paprika (approx 2 tsp.)
3 Cups milk, warmed
Parmesan, for topping
1 lb. elbow macaroni

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and cook and drain the macaroni noodles (leave them a little undercooked, because they will continue to cook more later when added into the sauce and cooked in the oven).
Now, let's start the sauce. We begin by making a roux; In a large, oven-safe pot, melt the butter in the bottom of your pan. When it's all melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk together until there are no clumps.

Add in the warm milk (I just poured my milk into a pyrex measuring cup and popped it into the microwave before I used it). Whisk that all together over medium heat until it is completely smooth. Then whisk in the paprika and black pepper (some people add salt in here too, but cheese is so high in sodium already- if you leave it out like me, I promise it will not taste as if it is missing any salt!). Now, simply add in all the cheeses (reserving a couple ounces of cheddar to top the dish). Over medium-high heat, vigorously whisk the cheese until it is a completely smooth and homogenous mixture... like a sauce. If you think it may be a little runny and not quite thick enough, don't worry- it goes into the oven and continues to thicken

Now, turn off the heat and stir in the undercooked macaroni. Top it all off with some cheddar and parmesan cheese.

Now stick this beautiful, warm, molten pot into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top gets all bubbly and golden, like this: 

*Additional notes: 
One great thing about this dish besides it's gooey deliciousness is that it is a one pot meal! Easy cleanup :)
Another idea to try next time: Add caramelized onions into the mix... mmmm!


  1. Megan, this looks so tasty! I have been looking for a good mac and cheese recipe.

  2. This looks so yummy! I love all the different cheeses in it and can't wait to make it. Thanks!