French Take On Mac 'n' Cheese

Monday, October 7, 2013

What did you have for dinner last night? I made a French take on mac 'n' cheese. It seemed like the perfect Sunday meal with the cooler weather outside. So, after our late breakfast stroll around the neighbourhood, we picked up a few baby pumpkins to decorate our flat and a good helping of Gruyére cheese. The rest of the day was all about the simple things in life. I lit a few candles, hung fairy lights in my office space, Balazs opened a bottle of red wine, we turned on Norah Jones on our vinyl record player and we literally ate our weight in Gruyére mac 'n' cheese while brain storming about how we should carve our pumpkins this year. Those are my favourite kind of Sundays. No rush, no tasks, just enjoying the simple things this beautiful season has to offer. I woke up this morning and wished it was still Sunday night.

Here is the recipe if you fancy trying it yourself. It's the best mac 'n' cheese I've ever had!

Gratin de macaronis au fromage
(Recipe by The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo)

- 300 grams (2 cups) macaroni
- 200 grams (7 oz) Gruyére or mature Comté or Parmesan cheese - grated

For the Béchamel sauce:
- 30 grams (1 oz) butter
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) plain flour
- 500 ml (17 fl oz) milk, lukewarm
- 1/4 onion, skin removed
- 1 clove
- 1 bay leaf
- a big pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste

To make the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add flour and beat until you have a smooth paste. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly.

Place the pan back over a medium heat, add the onion, clove and bay leaf and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently. If the sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little more milk. 

While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Finish the sauce by removing the onion, clove, bay leaf and then add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and tip into a large baking dish or individual little baking dishes like I did. Save a handful of cheese to sprinkle on top, and then mix the rest into the warm sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes or until it bubbles and it's golden brown. Ta dah!

P.S: Plus, lasagne grilled cheese, bloomin' gooey cheese bread, goat cheese grape balls, and cheese with coffee twist.
P.P.S: How to make a better grilled cheese sandwich and when flavours collide.

(Photos and layout by exPress-o)


Katie said...

Yum! Totally making this!!!

And your Sunday sounds absolutely heavenly. I feel like my Sundays can be a bit too go-go-go-go-go!! getting ready for the work week. It would be nicer to slow down and have a relaxed Sunday instead.

amy b.s. said...

um, yum! this is totally going on my recipe list!

Fashion art and other fancies said...

Sounds and looks scrumptious!

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

oh my goodness! i need to try this! YUM!

Tiffany Kadani said...

This is how I make mine!!!

Tiffany Kadani said...

This is how I make mine!!!

Marieken Hoefnagel said...

That looks delicious! I just had a peek at the cookbook, and it looks amazing. Gorgeous pictures. Have you made more recipes that come out of it?

Diana Mieczan said...

Katie, we really needed one of those Sundays just to relax and re-charge:) Hope you enjoy it...It really is super delicious.

Diana Mieczan said...

Yay, Amy:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Thank you, Fashion art and other fancies!

Diana Mieczan said...

That is awesome, Tiffany...

Diana Mieczan said...

Marieken Hoefnagel, I use that cookbook a lot lately. I made probably 60% of the recipes already. It's a great cookbook for wonderfully delicious meals. The other recipe that came from it and I posted about it, is this one:

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