Homemade mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. I use Mark Bittman’s recipe except for one key alteration: twice as much cheese. For this recpe I used manchego, parmesan, and roasted red peppers. You can use any other cooked vegetable and/or cheese that melts well.
I have also been loving cabbage and apples. It’s cheap and healthy. Cabbage does really well with some acidity and sweetness; you could also use pears or a drop of jam.
3 cups manchego, shredded
1 cup parmesan, shredded
2 cups 2% milk
3 tbspn butter
3 tbspn flour
2 red peppers, roasted
salt & pepper
Preparation: to roast red peppers brush with oil and cook in 400 degree oven until outsides have blistered. Let cool and peel skin. Cut them into small pieces and set aside. Scald milk with bay leaves and let rest. Cook pasta (al dente), drain, rinse in cold water. Make a roux by heating butter over medium low heat until foamy and then adding flour. Whisk constantly until the roux is brown (this takes a few minutes). Slowly add milk to roux, whisking all the while. Once all the milk is incorporated mix in the cheese, peppers, salt & pepper. Pour into buttered baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. You can make this dish ahead of time and leave it in the fridge.
Tip: I use one pot by pouring the scalded milk back into my pyrex measuring cup and then make roux. I hate doing dishes.
Cabbage with apples:
1 head cabbage
salt & pepper
Preparation: slice apples and cabbage to a similar size. In a pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the garlic. Add apples, fennel seeds (crushed between your finger tips), salt & pepper. Then add cabbage. Cover the pan if you’re in a hurry. Cook until tender.