Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mac and Cheese

This Mac and Cheese recipe is one of our all time favorites. It is a "Everyday Italian" recipe (Giada De Laurentiis is awesome!!!) I have always made this recipe to the letter, but not tonight! I decided that I would mix it up and add and substitute some things..... Instead of ham, I choose chicken and I added fresh minced garlic and a dash of cayenne. The original recipe can be found here.

Mac and Cheese

Butter, for greasing dish

12 ounces wide egg noodles

2 cups heavy cream

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups (packed) grated Fontina

3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan

3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella

4 or 5 chicken tender pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced (next time I might add another to make 4- we love garlic!)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Heat some olive oil (extra virgin) in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Take 4 or 5 chicken tender pieces and slice them into small pieces. Season with salt, pepper and a small amount of cayenne pepper and put in the pan. Cook all the way through. Set aside.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, chicken, garlic, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture.

Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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