I didn't plan for my first episode of The Lovely Lady Baker Cooks to be something as simple as Mac N Cheese, but it is definitely good enough to share. I promise the next cooking recipe will be much more acceptable in the realm of cooking and not involve loads of cheese (sorry to the cheese lovers out there).
M and I made a version of this macaroni a few years ago. It is apparent we don't eat a lot of macaroni and cheese. I bought a hunk of Smoked Gouda recently and wanted to make sure we used it before it spoiled. I must tell you a sad story before I go on.... My oven is dead. (insert sobs here). I have attempted to make use of the little toaster oven I have used for 3.5 years to make toast to actually cook things. It is supposed to - so I said why not. I am afraid to bake in it. I might have to if the landlord doesn't act quickly enough for me. I may develop acute depression if I can't bake soon. Ok, back to mac and cheese....
This macaroni is very rich, not too sharp, and definitely creamy. White pepper is a definite must if you don't have it already in your spice cabinet. Although I don't recommend eating macaroni every week, once in a while is acceptable! Everything in moderation, right? Right. Oh, and you can probably eat it more often that once every two years. So, try this recipe if you feel gouda. (oh, I couldn't resist!)
Smoked Gouda Mac N Cheese
inspired long ago by Emeril
2 C ditalini pasta
1 C milk
1 T butter
1 heaping spoonful flour
1/4 tsp white pepper
10 cracks black pepper
2 C shredded Smoked Gouda cheese
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Boil pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk constantly until thick - about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk (keep whisking) and cook over medium heat until the béchamel sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add white pepper, whisk to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese slowly until smooth. Mix in the cooked pasta - toss to coat. Salt to taste - though the cheese is already salty and you probably don't need to add any. Pour macaroni into a greased baking dish and crack fresh pepper on top. Place the macaroni into the oven for about 15 minutes until the top browns. Serve immediately.
Stay tuned for more non-baking recipes!