mac and cheese

Macaroni & Cheese for Two

Like most people, I love macaroni and cheese.  But since I’m single, I had to figure out how to make enough of this comfort food to make me happy but not so much I’d have to eat leftovers for days.  This recipe works best for me since it’s just enough for about two servings. Traditional mac and cheese is made with cheddar only but this one also contains Monterey Jack because that’s a personal favorite. Go traditional or use a mixture as long as you buy it in a block and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t always melt well because it contains stabilizers to prevent it from sticking together in the package. Gotta pause here to give a shout-out to my son-in-law who taught me the proper way to make a roux! Here’s a tip: Slooooow with low heat is key. Also, the bread crumb topping is entirely optional. I like the crunch; leave it off if you prefer.

1 cup (NOT 8 ounces of pasta by weight) uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs (optional)
kosher salt
ground black pepper

large (5-quart) pot
pasta strainer
small (1-quart) heavy-bottomed pot
measuring cups and spoons
wire whisk
two 10-ounce ramekins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta in large pot according to package directions until al dente. Drain, then return to large pot.
3. Melt butter in small pot over low heat.
4. Stir in flour and stir continually until mixture thickens slightly — 1 – 2 minutes.
5. Slowly pour in half and half and stir until mixture thickens again — about 3 -4 minutes on VERY low heat.
6. REMOVE from heat, slowly add cheeses, salt and pepper to taste, and slowly stir continually until cheeses melt.
7. Add cheese sauce to pasta and stir until pasta is coated thoroughly.
8. Divide pasta evenly between ramekins. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over top of each, if using.
9. Bake until bread crumbs are golden brown — about 20 minutes.

• Make sure to remove the pot from heat before stirring in the cheeses. If the mixture is too hot, the cheese will seize up and begin to pull away from the sides of the pot.

30 minutes

2 servings

3 thoughts on “Macaroni & Cheese for Two

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