Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ramekin Mac & Cheese

I'm sure there are half a million blog posts that start out by describing the wonders of mac & cheese. So I'll skip it - we all know it's amazing.




So how to improve upon a classic? Make it in ramekins, of course! I adore miniature/individual sized food (who doesn't?). Plus, fewer dishes to clean.

I also added spicy Italian pork sausage and garlic and gruyere chicken sausage, as I had leftovers of both in my fridge and needed to use them up.



Yum. Hearty, cheesy, crunchy on top, gooey in the middle goodness.

Ramekin Mac & Cheese


*Disclaimer: I completely played this by ear, adjusting as I went along. These measurements are educated guesses at best.*

1 1/2 cups dry pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated cheese of your choice (I like extra sharp cheddar)
Seasonings of choice: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, etc.
2 links pork or chicken sausage (optional!)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 350.

Boil water and cook your favorite pasta (multi-grain elbow macaroni shown) to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over low heat; add 3 tablespoons flour and combine with butter to make a roux.

Slowly add 3/4 cup milk, in 2-3 batches, whisking it into the roux until smooth. It will probably seem way too thin at first, but it will thicken a lot as it continues to cook.

Add grated cheese and whisk until melted. Now, season to taste. I used a few dashes each of salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Continue adding dashes of whatever you please until tastes like what you want. (This is my primary cooking method.)

Pour the sauce over your cooked pasta and mix to incorporate. At this point, I added two links of sliced, cooked sausage. You could also try adding tuna, peas, broccoli, etc. Whatever you have lying around. Divide mac & cheese mixture into two ramekins.

Prepare the crumb topping: melt 1 tablespoon butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30-60 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and about 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese into the butter; mix with a fork. Top each ramekin with half of the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake ramekins for 7-10 minutes, or until everything inside is nice and hot.

Place under the oven broiler for 1-2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned and crunchy.

Dig in!

3 comments:

  1. Oooh. I should just start making my chipotle mac & bleu cheese in ramekins--I have some great little Fiestaware ones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum. I was just discussing chipotles with a coworker. Consensus is: we like them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks yummy and delicious! I want to try this too. :)

    ReplyDelete

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