Sides, Sides, everywhere are sides… (Parmesan Mac ‘n’ Cheese)

As I mentioned in the title, this one just happens to be a Parmesan Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  Delightfully simple, and deliciously rich – not to mention easy – it’s a grand replacement for the Box, and has a lot of room to play.  Just mixing up the cheese will do it.

Shopping List:

  • Butter (have a stick handy)
  • Milk (3-4 cups)
  • Parmesan Cheese (2c) – grated is best, but the bulk bottle works just fine.  Probably melts faster, in fact.
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • You already have all this, right?

Since this is a side, I’ll skip some of the pleasantries.  More or less, what we’re making here is a Mornay sauce.  That is, a roux with cheese and milk added. That part isn’t hard at all, so we’ll begin there.  Take about 4tbsp of butter and melt it in a 3qt stock pot until the butter gets frothy.  Slowly stir in a cup of flour – and more.  I usually end up around 1-1/2c until it’s all incorporated and the butter starts to brown.  Add a dash of milk, a teaspoon of nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper and work that together.

To this uber-roux, add 2 cups of grated parmesan and a splash more milk if necessary.  The idea is to get everything melted and homogenous,

At this point, we say good-bye to our traditional friends, and pay homage to the Box.  Add 3C of milk to the pot, combine thoroughly  and add in 8oz of elbow macaroni.  Let simmer per the macaroni instructions (should be eight minutes) and voila!  Tasty macaroni and cheese that Kraft never heard of.

Also, a bacon crumble works nicely on this if you’re not getting bacon-y somewhere else.