Stir Crazy

With a title like that, this should be about risotto. But there’s a pretty fair amount of stirring involved here, too.

There were some beautiful, gracefully long shreds of Swiss cheese calling to me from the refrigerator drawer. And it just so happened that I had a little bit of pasta hidden at the back of a cabinet. Oh, and non-spoiled milk (kind of a rarity). Plus, I’ve been looking for an excuse to try a non-baked, gooier mac and cheese. These elements, combined with Day Three of a snow-induced long weekend, meant a little kitchen experimentation. My favorite.

Delicious from every angle

Delicious from every angle

Stir Crazy Mac & Cheese
A small-batch spin-off of PW’s master recipe

2ish c. dry pasta (I had radiatore)
1/8 c. (1/4 stick, 2 Tbsp) butter
1/8 c. flour
1 1/4 c. skim milk
1 tsp. (ish) Dijon mustard
2-3 c. shredded cheese (I used  about 1 cup cheddar, 1 cup Swiss)
Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, to taste

Cook macaroni until they’re the way you like them, then drain. (This is a non-baked mac and cheese, so the pasta won’t have any additional cooking time.)

Over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add flour, whisk constantly for a few minutes (about 3) until the flour is thoroughly combined and cooked. Add the milk and mustard. Whisk/stir constantly until the mixture thickens – about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until melty and smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add sauce to cooked pasta, stir to combine.

Here’s where the good part comes in. I had some interesting ingredients hanging around — I was thinking about making spinach salad — that sounded like they might be pretty good with gooey mac and cheese. So…

Dish up. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and french-friend onions, more cheese, or whatever sounds good.

Eat up!

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About LE

PR professional by day, writer by night. Remembering life isn't an episode of "Saved By the Bell." Getting culture, not babies.

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