Monday Night Mac

Much like my Friday Night Dinner for One, I wanted to utilize ingredients in my fridge without hitting up the grocery store unnecessarily. I had close to a half gallon of milk that was going to expire in a couple of days (living alone and working mornings, I was never going to drink it), and some cheese that was probably on the verge of molding. I knew it was mac and cheese time.

I have always love bechamel sauce and I feel I make a particularly tasty one. In culinary school, I learned to simmer milk with an onion cloute (an onion spiked with cloves), combine the milk mixture with a blonde roux, and season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. The seasoning combination, while so simple, has been the cornerstone of much of my own cooking.

Since we’re dealing with ingredients that are about to turn, I naturally did not have any onions at home, but I improvised with dehydrated chopped onions. Here’s a photo play by play of the bechamel:

simmering the milk

whole nutmeg which I chopped in half, dehydrated chopped onion

chopped nutmeg

simmering the milk with the onion, nutmeg, and a few cloves

preparing the roux - half a cup flour with a stick of butter in a nonstick pot

cook the roux to a blonde consistency

drain the milk from the aromatic solids

discard this stuff, it

mix with the roux with the milk

consistency of the sauce should coat the spoon, season with additional salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, etc.

At this point, the “mother sauce,” bechamel is complete. To take it to the mac and cheese level, time to mix in loads of cheese. In my fridge I had a shredded six cheese italian blend, aged old amsterdam cheese, goat’s milk cheddar, and grated parmigiano reggiano.

Time to work on assembling the rest…

a tasty topping is key...I'm a huge fan of ritz cracker crumbs

cracker crumbs mixed with some of the six cheese blend plus more white pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper

boil the pasta, preferably slighty tougher than al dente

drain the pasta and mix with the cheese sauce

transfer the pasta to a baking dish, sprinkle the cracker topping over it, and bake for about an hour at 350 degrees

leftovers are doubtful


2 thoughts on “Monday Night Mac

  1. Pingback: Quick and Yummy Shrimp Dish | The Accidental Chef

  2. Pingback: Late Night Snack – Pretzels and Cheese Sauce | The Accidental Chef

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