Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese with Basil Crumb Topping

I make no apologies for loving Macaroni and Cheese; it is comfort food at its finest. Over the years in my quest for the quintessential version, I've come across a number of excellent recipes. Nothing can beat the over-the-top lusciousness of Lobster Mac and Cheese, but that's a special occasion variety and not something in which to indulge with any regularity lest I become spoiled. So, one of my new favorites is a recipe that I stumbled across just last week in Cuisine at Home. Intrigued by the addition of adding chopped fresh basil to the crumb topping, I decided to give it a try. Not only was I pleased, but so were our fellow diners.  So, grab up that basil before the first frost and give this worthy version a try!

Macaroni and Cheese with Basil Crumb Topping
Cuisine at Home

1/2 lb. dry elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 cup chicken broth, warmed
3 oz fontina cheese, shredded
3 oz white Cheddar, shredded
3 oz white American cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Tabasco to taste
2 slices soft white bread
10 leaves of fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400; coat 1 quart baking dish with non-stick spray.

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water in saucepan for 1 minute less than directed on the package. Drain and set aside; return pan to medium-low heat.

Melt butter in the pan, then add flour, stirring until pasty. Gradually whisk in milk and broth, increase heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in cheeses until smooth, then add mustard, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Fold in macaroni and transfer to prepared baking dish.

Process bread, basil, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a food processor until fine; sprinkle over macaroni. Bake until sauce is bubbly and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes.

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Richard Cottrell said...

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite winter foods. I guess I would like it all year round, but, for some reason, I love it in the winter. Try making it some time and add some chunks of left over ham, so good and is a complete meal if you add a salad. I will have to try yours. Richard from My Old Historic House.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I only recently discovered toasted basil breadcrumbs and how many wonderful ways they can be used. This looks like a perfect one to add to the list!

Lady Behind The Curtain said...

What a tasty recipe! Would you come over to CAST PARTY WEDNESDAY and share your recipe with us?
I hope to see you there!


Worchestershire is one of my favorite hidden ingredients. I bet it is good in mac and cheese too.

alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

Sounds wonderful! I make no apologies for my love of mac & cheese either! It's definitely a fave of mine. Thanks for linking up.