Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese Recipe
Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese from Fine Cooking, February/March 2010
Before the decision to attempt this challenge, I would have said that my daughter eats anything, because it seemed to be the case. One of her favorite foods is hummus with pita bread. She loves moussaka. Apparently though, she doesn't like anything from a cooking magazine. One taste of this Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese and she condemned it to the "do not like" pile very vehemently. Of course, when I took it down to my husband to have him try it, a meltdown commenced because I was giving him HER mac and cheese. This too shall pass (I hope).
Anyhow, the idea behind this dish is wonderful. The only pots that get dirty are the one for the pasta and the skillet because the cheese sauce is made in it. Less to clean up is always a good thing. At this point though, I think the dish takes a change of course.
One change should be to the title. This is not a basic mac and cheese, but more of a gourmet version. Trust me; the word cheddar doesn't appear anywhere (let alone American or Velveeta). Instead, Gruyere, Emmentaler (similar to Swiss cheese) and Parmesan are used, all three of which my husband thinks taste like throw-up.
In addition, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard take this from the standard kid-loving dish to something more appropriate for adults pretending to "rough" it in their deluxe camper in the wilderness.
The dish is easy to make and comes out exactly as pictured (though I think Fine Cooking adds a bit of red color to most of their pictures...this included). There's not much that can be said about the preparation since it's just one skillet and it comes together quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, my daughter wouldn't eat it even after she re-took possession of the bowl I had given my husband. He didn't mind. After taking a bite he said that it was making him gag and went to get a drink of water. (He doesn't care much for REAL cheese in the first place so I think we'll stick with the mac and cheese that comes in a box for him). Me, I was born in France and was raised eating a variety of cheeses so I found this to be quite flavorful and unique. I wouldn't want to eat a large amount of it because it is very rich, but I liked it.
Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese
from Fine Cooking, February/March 2010
- Kosher salt
- 12 oz. dried spiral pasta, such as cavatappi, rotini, or double elbows
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
- 4 oz. grated Emmentaler (1-1/4 cups)
- 4 oz. grated Gruyère (1-1/4 cups)
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 cups)
Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until just tender. Drain well and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until well combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the Emmentaler, Gruyère, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and whisk until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth, 2 minutes. Stir in the pasta to coat with the sauce. Off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly over the pasta.
Broil until the top is browned, 3 to 4 minutes, and serve.