Thursday, January 7, 2010

Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese



One of the great things about holidays is the extra time for things that get neglected when I'm stressed and busy - like cooking!  Since it's actually been cold in central Texas, I wanted to make something familiar and filling.  I usually cruise Vegetarian Times or Cooking Light when I'm not using one of my cookbooks, and in my searching I found Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese.

I followed the recipe exactly, but next time I would add more cheese, and skip the brown rice bread crumbs I accidentally bought in favor of real, crunchy ones.

This recipe was easy:

Ingredients

  • 1  (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese - but I'll be using more next time
  • 1/3  cup  (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 5  cups  coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 4  cups  hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • Cooking spray

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350°.
2) Place bread in a food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.  (or just buy a canister of bread crumbs).
3) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute.
4) Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended.
5) Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes).
6) Add cheeses; stir until melted.
7) Add spinach and cooked macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended.



 8) Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.



Lennon also suggested sprinkling shredded cheese on the top with the breadcrumbs.  Basically, we are of the philosophy: "the more cheese the better."



I like it when I feel like I'm getting my vegetables without having to make a salad.  Although, the leftover Gouda cheese would be delicious cubed and added to a salad.  That is, if you can refrain from eating all of it before you're finished making the recipe.  I love Gouda cheese.  I also like that it comes wrapped in red wax just like all the cheeses in the Netherlands, and I used to live there. 



Of course I looked just like this while cooking - wearing a sparkling white apron with my wedge espadrilles in a sizable kitchen and my size 2 waist.

Ok, so I'm lying.  My kitchen is a size 2 and my waist is the thing that's becoming sizable, but at least that's a testament that my food is good.  Lennon almost ate the whole two quart dish of pasta, and I had to stop him so I'd have leftovers for lunch the next day.  Let's hope he and I never have sons, we'll be broke.

4 comments:

E said...

YUM. You could make this for the YA potluck, maybe? =)

Sara-Jane Elizabeth said...

What beautiful food! Can I have some?! ;)

Amanda said...

@E - I haven't decided what I'm making yet, I tend to be a no-repeat recipe girl, but I promise I'll choose something equally cheesy

@ Sara-Jane Elizabeth - I love feeding people - anytime!!

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

I want to buy you an apron like that just so you'll take a picture like the housewife, haha :)

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