Wow, summer is just flying by! I’m having way too much fun. I’m very happy to be home though, as fun as my trip was, there really is no place like home. Seeing all my family and friends is always a good time, and, of course, I’m always just so well fed when I come back for a visit!
This time around, I’ve been spending mornings with Gretchen. She is a fabulous cook (she gets it from her mom), and my breakfasts have been really something. I went to her place on Friday and she fed me a delicious gourmet breakfast (no, it was not all made that morning, some of it was leftover from the dinner her mom cooked the night before.) I had a salad with homemade dressing, gourmet mac and cheese, French onion soup, roast lamb, apple and cheese puff pastry, coffee, and leche flan. DELICIOUS!!! We chatted for a few hours while I ate my way through all that food. And after that breakfast I didn’t need to eat lunch!
I got to leave with some mac and cheese, and her recipe!
Gourmet Mac and Cheese
*recipe adapted from The Best of the Best in the Best of Bridge Series
- 2 1/2 cups shell pasta
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups any semi-firm to firm cheese, grated
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/3 cups cottage cheese
- 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs or panko
- handful of potato chips, crushed (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika to taste
Cook and drain pasta. Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Stir in flour, and mix well. Add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add salt, sugar and cheese. Mix well. Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, and paprika into sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour pasta into the sauce pan, mix thoroughly with the sauce, and then place in a casserole dish. At this point, you can serve it, bake it, or freeze it for later.
If you’re baking it, you can sprinkle it with the bread crumbs or the panko, then bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.
If you’re freezing it, then don’t add the bread crumbs or the panko right away. Instead, store in individual Tupperware containers. Thaw in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, pop it into a ovenproof bowl, and then sprinkle with the bread crumbs or panko. Broil for about five minutes, until the crust is crunchy and golden brown. Note that for the crust, Gretchen used a combination of panko crumbs and crushed salt and pepper thick-cut Kettle Chips for extra crunch.
Also a note about cheese: The quality of mac and cheese depends on the quality of the cheese. You can use a combination of whatever you have on hand. However, higher quality cheeses obviously means it’s more expensive. If you don’t indulge in gourmet cheeses, use a large amount of ordinary cheddar or mozza and then spice it up with small amounts of higher-end cheese.
This recipe was so delicious, I can’t wait to have more sometime!