Monday, August 6, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese: Julia Child Style

While Julia offers no official recipe for macaroni and cheese (which I was heartily craving recently), her books do offer the makings for all the perfect components, even the bread crumb topping. The only change I made to the sauce mornay was to add more cheese (but that's sort of my life philosophy...more cheese).

Macaroni and Cheese: Julia Child Style
Sauce Bechamel (from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
A heavy-bottomed, 6-cup enameled, stainless steel, lined copper, porcelain, or pyrex saucepan
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
A wooden spatula or spoon
2 cups of milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt heated to the boil in a small saucepan
A wire whip

Salt and pepper

In the saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Blend in the flour, and cook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour froth together for 2 minutes without coloring. This is now a white roux.

Remove roux from heat. As soon as roux has stopped bubbling, pour in all the hot liquid at once. Immediately beat vigorously with a wire whip to blend liquid and roux, gathering in all bits of roux from the inside edges of the pan.

Set saucepan over moderately high heat and stir with the wire whip until the sauce comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring.

Remove from heat, and beat in salt and pepper to taste. Sauce is now ready for final flavorings or additions.

Sauce Mornay (from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
2 cups of medium bechamel
1/4 to 1/2 cup of coarsely grated swiss and finely grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Optional:  pinch of cayenne pepper and 1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter

Bring the sauce to the boil. Remove from heat, and beat in the cheese until it has melted and blended with the sauce.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and optional cayenne. Off heat and just before serving, stir in the optional butter a bit at a time.

Bread Crumb Topping
2 slices of pain de mie
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Pulverize bread in food processer or blender. Mix in melted butter and stir with a fork until well combined.

1 16-oz box of cavatappi pasta

Boil pasta to al dente in salted water, drain.

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a baking dish.

Toss pasta in Sauce Mornay and pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with prepared bread crumb topping. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10, or until top has browned.

this recipe is also shared at some of my favorite food blog hops

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  1. Yum! I am a big fan of m&c. I make something similar, but my mom makes the best. :)

  2. This is so delicious and refined looking for macaroni and cheese, I'd love to eat this, it's been so long since I've even had normal macaroni and cheese!

  3. I think adding more cheese is a great idea (and philosophy ;) )

    1. There are so few things in this world that cheese doesn't improve :-)

  4. There is nothing better than homemade mac and cheese! This recipe sounds great! :)

  5. I looovveeee homemade Mac and cheese! Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday!

  6. Mac & cheese that starts with a roux is always the best! I would love it if you would share this on Tout It Tuesday.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow.


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