Thursday, March 21, 2013
Fontina Macaroni and Cheese
It's no secret that we're cheese lovers at my house. Nor is it a secret or surprise that we also love macaroni and cheese. I grew up eating the stuff in the blue box and honestly when I was little, I didn't like homemade mac and cheese. Now that's switched, and I'd much rather have a big plate of homemade than the stuff from the box. I really try and avoid giving it to my kiddos, too, because of all the junk that's put in it. By the way, did you know there's currently a petition going around attempting to get Kraft to remove harmful food dyes from the blue boxed mac and cheese? Interestingly the same product sold in the UK does not contain these dyes because of consumer outcry there. Why not take a second and add your name to the petition? I believe the goal was to get 250,000 names, and it's currently at 249,910! So close!!
Petition to remove harmful dyes from Kraft mac and cheese
I'll get down off my soapbox now and back to my regularly scheduled post.
Although I have a go-to mac and cheese that I make pretty often and we all love, I'm easily convinced to try a new version. The husband helped me meal plan recently, and I pulled up a few things on Pinterest that I'd been wanting to try. This is one he chose because, like I said, we're a family of suckers for mac and cheese. Plus I love fontina cheese, so I jumped on board with the idea. We made sure to have it before a big cardio workout day to really justify having it as our main course instead of a side.
Fontina Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Annie's Eats via Pinterest
1 lb. small or medium pasta shells
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.
Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Cover to keep warm.
Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well. Stir in the warm cream and the Fontina until the cheese starts to melt. Mix in salt to taste, and add the nutmeg.
Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in the panko breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan. Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Talk about decadent!! Butter, cream, cheese. Yowza! This was definitely a hit with my family. This was definitely tasty, but I don't think it will necessary replace my normal mac and cheese just because it was so rich and decadent. It was definitely a nice change of pace and something I'd make again when I had a hankering for fancy mac and cheese!
I'll admit, it's a little blah looking before going in the oven. I left panko off one end because one of my kids didn't want any on theirs. Worked for me.