As you know, cheese is one of the four tailgating food groups. The others are meat and beer and, um, meat. This week we’ve got some hearty mac n’ cheese squares for your next tailgate. Your fellow tailgaters will be so blown away they might forget there’s a football game to go to.
* 1 pound of cooked macaroni pasta or fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
* 1 1/2 pound shredded cheese of your choice (I like extra sharp cheddar)
* 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs with a few tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil stirred into them
* 3 cups whole milk
* 5 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup white flour
* Nutmeg, salt and pepper
1. Cook the pasta.
2. Melt all your cheese in a bowl in the microwave.
3. In a big bowl or pot, stir the melted cheese into the cooked pasta and set aside.
4. In a saucepan, melt butter and flour together and stir with a whisk or a fork until combined.
5. Slowly add milk and keep stirring until mixture starts becoming thick.
6. Turn off heat and add a few pinches of nutmeg, a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper).
7. Add this thickened white sauce (called Bechamel) to the pasta cheese mixture.
8. Place everything in an 8 X 13 inch pan or any other pan that fits it all and top with the breadcrumbs.
9. Place pan in a 425 degree oven until the cheese looks melty and the breadcrumbs start to turn golden brown (20-30 minutes). Keep checking, however, as oven temps vary.
10. Let cool and cut into 2″ X 2″ squares.
Serves about 6-8 as an appetizer or small side dish.
Find more tasty recipes for your next tailgate.
Visit Gridiron Grub for additional tailgating treats.
Alma Schneider is a licensed Clinical Social Worker helping individuals overcome their psychological and practical obstacles to cooking and parenting on her blog and consulting business, Take Back the Kitchen. She is a native New Yorker transplanted to the suburbs with her husband, four children and loving yet stubborn Beagle Shiloh.