Welcome to my first FOODIE FRIDAY blog! As some of you know, I am a huge foodie. I love cooking. I love watching THE FOOD NETWORK and THE COOKING CHANNEL. I have seen all the Top Chefs and any other cooking-related competitive reality show out there. I dream one day of hosting my own food show called ARE YOO HUNGRY? 🙂
Every Friday, I figured I’d just blog about my favorite foods, favorite TV food shows, favorite recipes, and any favorite places I go to eat. (Yes, I’m one of those annoying people who posts pictures of the food she eats on Twitter and Facebook! LOL!) And I will feature the occasional guest foodie blogger, so keep an eye out for that!
So I figured, why not start off the inaugural FOODIE FRIDAY with a tribute to my all-time favorite comfort food… MAC & CHEESE? 🙂
(Keep reading after the jump for the mac ‘n cheesy details…)
I Heart Mac & Cheese!
Whenever I am stressed out or need comfort food, mac & cheese is my “go-to” dish. I love mac & cheese so much that I occasionally guest blog as “Paula Parmesan” on my friend Hilary Havarti’s blog, http://www.weheartmacandcheese.com/
I normally make Emeril’s famous Mac & Cheese recipe. It’s such a great, basic recipe. You can find it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/ems-mac-n-cheese-recipe/index.html
Here are the basic ingredients: cheese, flour, milk, pasta, salt, pepper!
I like to use a mix of extra sharp cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and pecorino romano.
I melt a couple tablespoons of butter with equal parts flour in a pan to create a roux.
I also set a quart pan of water to boil on the other stove burner. AND I also turned on the oven to 350 degrees. Then I add milk slowly, stirring it in little by little, until I get this nice sauce. It should be thick but not too thick that it clumps, more like a smooth thick gravy consistency that coats the wooden spoon. (Again, I don’t measure stuff but cook by feel and eyeball the ingredients, but if I had to guess, I’d say it was about 3/4 cup of milk I tend to use.)
Then you add the cheese and stir it until it melts… the cheese sauce should be thick and smooth and coat the wooden spoon.
Then you add salt and pepper and a hint of cayenne pepper and stir it all together! Just add a few pinches at a time to taste. Warning re: cayenne pepper – go easy on the stuff, it can overpower your dish. I use barely a pinch of cayenne pepper, really just as an enhancement.
I then stir the pasta and cheese sauce together until all the pasta is coated. Then I dump the whole mess into a buttered baking dish, top it with bread crumbs and more shredded cheese, and then bake the whole mess for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees. (The temperature may vary according to your oven. Ours is at least 20 degrees hotter than it says, so we tend to undercook just in case, LOL!)
The final product? Yum!
Now I’ve done variations on this where I add fontina cheese and bacon. There are a ton of other recipes I want to try, especially one I saw on Ina Garten’s THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA show. I’ll post my future mac & cheese adventures on a future Foodie Friday blog!
Well, that’s my first Foodie Friday blog. What are YOUR favorite comfort foods, especially when you are on a writing deadline? I look forward to your comments! Until the next FOODIE FRIDAY, Happy Eating! 🙂 … Oh yeah, and Happy Writing! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂