Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese

One of the clearest memories I have growing up in elementary school is getting to eat when I got home from school. I would walk home, and then cook. And I mean cook. Boil a pot of noodles, chop up some scallions, wash some veggies, throw in some left over roast duck or chicken, put it all in some broth, and maybe turn it into egg drop soup. Woah, I should make that into a post sometime. It was fun to be able to have the whole kitchen and all it’s ingredients available to me. Sigh…to be 8 again.

One of the dishes that I always got excited to cook, and consume was Kraft Mac and Cheese. We only got it when I was able to convince my parents that I needed it when we where at Costco. So we definitely got the multi, intense pack. It’s so delicious. The bright orange cheese, and the creamy consistency with the buttery flavor creates a dish that is like nectar for the gods. I grew up thinking that Mac and Cheese always tasted like Kraft. If it was anything different, I thought it was someone making a travesty out of a classic dish. I grew up, and realized that Mac and Cheese has many forms and can be delicious in it’s own way.

I decided to make Mac and Cheese out of craving and also because I just wanted to try it. It turned out just right. It’s really a simple dish if you break it down. Pasta. Some sort of cream/dairy. Cheese. And the fix ins. Everyone has their own recipe and it always seems like someone’s Aunt, Grandma, or Mom makes it better than everyone else. I agree, but I see mac and cheese like wine , everyone has their preference, but as long as it has all the stuff in it, it’s delicious and will still make you drunk…er…I mean…fill you up with deliciousness…

I put in shitake and frozen peas in mine to add an extra umph to it, and give it a great texture. I have to credit my sister-in-law who is an expert at eating mac and cheese. Also, throwing in some pan-fried pancetta into this would also be delicious and gives it another level of flavor.


¼ cup minced shallots

4 tbs butter

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup milk

1 bay leaf

16 oz. whole wheat pasta

2 medium scallions, chopped

2 cups of a shredded sharp cheese (a sharp cheddar works) [reserve ¼ cup]

2 cups of a shredded mild cheese (i.e. Monterey Jack) [reserve ¼ cup]

1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumb)

10 oz. frozen green peas

5 large dried shitake mushrooms, re-hydrated and cubed



boil a large pot of heavily salted water.

cook pasta according to directions on box

sautee shallots in melted butter in a small sauce pot.

add heavy cream, milk, bay leaf, and crushed black pepper.

drain pasta and return to pot.

add cream/milk mixture, scallions, cheese, mushrooms, and peas to pasta and mix

season with salt and pepper to taste

place in buttered ## dish top with rest of the cheese, panko, and a dash of paprika.

bake for 30 minutes and transfer to boiler to brown the top

-serves a lot- I mean…a lot!


1 Response to “Mac and Cheese”

  1. April 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Just saw you’re working with Joy at Gourmeted for the adopted blogger program. Many congrats to you! And thanks for sharing this mac & cheese. Scallions, panko and peas? Yum!

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