Greg has a one day business trip to St. Louis coming up next week. There’s a country club in distress over their tabletops splitting or something along those lines. Most likely due to the climate in the building, I think, but he will see what the deal is and spend about 8 hours in the city. I know that he has a rep toting him about for the day but I want to be the good foodie/organizer that I am and try to find a worthwhile restaurant for his dining pleasure. He is up for anything and I am not familiar with the St. Louis scene (last time I was there was on a middle school trip where I spent most of my money on clothing instead of food…we didn’t have decent dining on the menu for that trip). Any suggestions?
I suspect he will have quite a bit of free time…maybe not, considering the airport wait but my motto is to be well-prepared without being uptight. I try anyway that is; I want to go too and have a day of dining. I could use a day, probably longer than that, somewhere else.
Last Saturday, I peered into the fridge and noticed how much cheese I owned. I love being the owner of a nice hunk of cheese. (That’s why I have Greg-badum-ching!) Then I looked in the cabinet and saw elbow pasta…are you reaching the same conclusion that I did? Well, if you’re here you already know from the title, it’s stovetop mac and cheese. Yet again, I ruined the moment. Smooth move Exlax.
I said a week (or two) ago that I had spent quite a bit of time on Martha Stewart’s site and came across this recipe. It’s easy; you can change it up if you don’t want a particular type of cheese in it or add a few different types of cheese. I changed this simply because I didn’t have specific ingredients and the directions seemed a bit formal so those had to go and what do you know, it still turned out delicious. I wanted to add tuna but was out, although I did have some peas…if you’ve never had tuna and peas mac, try it. I did add cubed ham but I don’t have to tell you that mac and cheese requires nothing more than cheese sauce and noodles to be good. I was surprised how fast this went together. I’ve had my fill and the kid in me (I’m not pregnant) is happy.
Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Serves 4 to 6
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups milk (whole is my choice but use what you have)
1/8 to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb. pasta of your choice (I used elbow)
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ¼ cups sharp cheddar, shredded (Gruyere or white cheddar would be nice too)
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup peas-optional
¾ cup cubed ham-optional (or large can of drained tuna)
Cook pasta according to the directions, drain and set aside. Meanwhile in a large saucepan (everything will end up in this pan), melt the butter over low/medium heat and add the flour. Whisking constantly, add salt to your taste and cook for a few minutes. Turn the heat to medium and add the milk and cayenne, whisking constantly. Bring to a slow boil, still stirring constantly; this should take about 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cheese, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the pasta, salt/pepper, optional peas and ham or tuna. Stir until coated with cheese sauce and serve. We liked this with a few dashes of Tabasco on the top. Add a little more milk to bring it back to a creamy state when reheated.