BASIL CHEDDAR MAC BAKE


Today the Hubs needed something warm and comfy for dinner. Ok, maybe that was actually me that needed the warmth and comfort. Either way, an official comfort style dinner was on tap.

Turns out there are more folks loving on a good souped up macaroni and cheese bake than a healthy slab of grilled salmon. Now, just so you know, I try to eat as healthy as I can (most days) but I am totally with them on this Basil Cheddar Mac Bake. Mmmm!


This mac and cheese is pretty darn lip smackin’! Since several new friends from the foodie group "Shut Up and Eat" asked for the recipe I am sharing it for them and for you too. If you are thinking about making this wonderful mac dish, think no more and grab your sauce pan!

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BASIL CHEDDAR MAC BAKE

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb Macaroni (cooked to aldente)

  • 6 Tb Butter (unsalted)

  • 1/2 C All Purpose Flour

  • 5 and 1/2 C Whole Milk

  • 4 and 1/2 C White Cheddar (grated)

  • 2 C Gruyere (grated)

  • 2 Tsp Salt

  • 1/2 Tsp Basil (dried) or if using fresh basil use about a palm full chopped

  • 1/4 Tsp Chili Pepper

  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Here's how ya make it:

  1. Cook the macaroni to the aldent' stage based on package directions. Rinse and pour into greased 9x13 deep baking dish. Make sure dish is at least 2" deep.

  2. Using a deep skillet or sauce pot melt the butter on medium to low heat. 

  3. Add the ½ cup all-purpose flour to the butter and whisk as flour thickens to make a rue.



Slowly pour in milk and continue to whisk. 

  1. Slowly pour in milk and continue to whisk. 

  2. Start adding the cheese by small batches at a time as cheese melts. Continue to whisk. Reserve about 1 cup cheddar for topping.

  3. Add salt, chili pepper, black pepper and nutmeg.

  4. Continue to cook and whisk until all the cheese is melted very well and sauce begins to thicken. It will look like this.

  5. If you have fresh basil, use it. But you can also use dried basil. The fresher the better. 

  6. Taste your sauce to make sure you have the seasonings at the level that suites you best.

  7. Pour over macaroni.

  8. Top with remaining shredded cheese.

  9. Bake on middle rack for about 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

  10. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


Enjoy this yummy comfort food my friends!

And remember...flip more flours! 

~PJ

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