Monday, October 6, 2008

Butternut squash mac n' cheese

I know your propbably thinking, "But you justed posted a mac n' cheese recipe, like, a month ago!!" But, you would be being hasty, because each mac n' cheese recipe is special! This one came to me very highly recommended from a recipe wiki* — one of the reasons it's great to be living in the 21st century.

Below is my take on the recipe.



1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter
a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg

Mac 'n cheese
1.5 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pound shredded old cheddar (about 4 cups)
1 3/4 cup free-range chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss the cubed squash in the melted butter, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 35-45 min until very tender.

Once squash is done, reduce oven heat to 350°.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil pasta to al dente, drain and set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup butter and slowly stir in 1/2 cup flour to form a roux. Off heat, slowly whisk in 2 cups of milk. Return to medium low heat until sauce fully blends and thickens. Lower heat to lowest setting. Add mustard, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Stir in 3 cups of cheese (set aside 1 cup for the topping) and 1 3/4 cups of stock, alternating cheese and stock by cupfuls. Taste sauce, adjust seasonings if needed. Add roasted squash to the sauce, and blend with a hand mixer until smooth.

Combine pasta and sauce in a large casserole dish.

Blend remaining cup of cheese with melted butter and breadcrumbs to form topping. Sprinkle mixture over the macaroni.

Bake casserole at 350° for 20 min, then broil until topping is nicely browned (~2–4 min). Let stand 10 min before serving.

*A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content (Source: Wikipedia [obviously, the most famous wiki]). So you can think of a recipe wiki as collaborative recipe building.




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