Bonus post- so in my quest to mend and feel just a little bit better I mustered up enough energy to comfort my inner kitchen chi. The result? Carb-a-docious. Oh yeah, I looked in the fridge and pulled out the maximum carb/cardiac-attack menu I could hone in on. After nearly two weeks of not being able to taste food – I said to myself, “Go big, eat big or go back to bed.” (You guessed it, I was done with the latter.)
1 lb elbow macaroni or small shells
4 1/2 (18 oz) cups sharp cheddar, grated
1 1/2 (6 oz) cups Gruyere or Jarlesberg cheese, grated
1 cup Pecorino, grated
1 cube butter (6 TBS + 2 TBS)
5 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsps salt
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
6 slices white bread, crusts removed & cut into small piece (can also substitue 2 cups stuffing bread crumbs)
Prepare pasta 2-3 minutes less than package directions. Drain in colander, do not rinse in water. (Hint: If you add a bit of vegetable oil to the boiling water before you add the pasta, the pasta will be easier to separate once cooled.)
Shred cheese and cut bread in preparation of the upcoming steps. Set aside.
In medium sauce pan melt 2 TBS butter. Add in bread or breadcrumbs and stir until butter has been absorbed. Set aside.
In small pot, warm milk and set aside.
In a large pot, melt 6 TBS butter over medium-high heat. When butter bubbles add flour. Cook, wisking for one minute. Continue to wisk while slowly add in warm milk and cook until mixture bubbles and becomes thick. (DO NOT STOP stirring or the milk will burn on the bottom of the pot.)
Take 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 Gruyere and set aside.
Turn heat down to simmer and add in black pepper, cayanne pepper, nutmeg and salt, mix well. Then add worcestershire sauce, 3 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese and Pecorino and mix well. Stir pasta into warm cheese sauce.
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray into a high-sided casserole dish approximately 8″x12″. Sprinkle remaining cheeses and top with breadcrumbs. Bake approximately 30 minutes until brown on top. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
Serving suggestions: This is a heavy meal best balanced with a nice crisp salad. I made a cucumber, tomato and marinated artichoke heart salad….. and then I completely contradicted that thought and baked a cake. Why? Because I needed to locate every pound I may have lost while sick and I DIDN’T go back to bed.