Thursday, March 5, 2009

Book Club Winter Dinner

Grown up Macaroni and Cheese

It was my turn to host book club the other night and I needed something that was warm and satisfying, something I could feed a vegetarian, and something I could either prep ahead of time, or quickly at the last minute. I opted for baked macaroni and cheese with a grown up twist. Instead of using only cheddar cheese, I added Gruyere and goat cheeses. The result was extraordinary. Only I hadn't heated it quite enough for my girls, and I felt badly about that. So be sure to serve this piping hot and you will not disappoint!


1 box elbow macaroni, or any small shaped pasta
2 cups of milk (I used low fat)
2 tbs of butter
2 tbs flour
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of shredded Gruyere, 1+ cup of goat cheese
(I shred Gruyere in my food processor)
(Fontina can be substituted for either the Gruyere or the goat cheeses)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs

Cook pasta per directions on the package, drain and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan melt butter and milk over medium heat
When butter has melted pour a little of the milk into a small bowl with the flour and mix well
and pour that mixture back into the pan, mix well
Bring to low rolling boil so that mixture thicken to a paste -- this is a Bechamel sauce
Add salt and pepper to taste and gradually add your cheeses and mix well
When all blended pour over pasta and make sure that all is well covered

Pour macaroni into an oven safe baking dish... (I prefer long and shallow as opposed to short and deep) Evenly spread the breadcrumbs over the top and place in oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes or cover and place in refrigerator for future use.

Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 lb arugula, washed and rinsed
10-20 grape tomatoes (optional)
1/8 - 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, or shaved Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup of red wine vinegar
1 cup of light olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon (if you do not get enough juice, or like a really lemony dressing use 2 lemons)
Fresh sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl add lettuce, tomatoes and cheese
In a cruet or jar with lid mix vinegar, olive oil and lemon, stir or shake well,
Pour desired amount over salad
Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste and toss

We also had warm bread with Herbed Olive Oil and Butter Spread


Cheryl said...

sounds like the one i made the other day! so yummy!!! I'm sure they loved it anyway. You always have great recipes.

Jessica Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Ryan said...

thanks Cheryl!