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Oven Mac 'n Cheese

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

Oven Mac 'n Cheese

Marc J. Sievers

I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t love mac ‘n cheese!  It’s one of those universal comfort foods that can be made in hundreds of ways, with or without toppings, baked, and even fried!  It can cheer you up on a rainy day, enjoyed by the bowl fill while watching a movie, or served during game night with friends (I’m a champ at monopoly!).  My Oven Mac n’ Cheese uses 4 distinctive cheeses and is topped with fresh garlic bread crumbs made from a toasted baguette.  All in all, this dish is sure to bring smiles and accolades from those who indulge!


Oven Mac 'n Cheese

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • Demi Baguette – cut lengthwise
  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted, at room temperature
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced
  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons, divided
  • Black Pepper – 1½ teaspoons, divided
  • Heavy Cream – 1½ cup
  • Whole Milk – 1½ cups
  • Semi-Soft Fontina – ½ pound, grated
  • Red Leicester – ½ pound, grated, available at Trader Joe's
  • Gruyere – ½ pound, grated
  • Parmesan – ½ pound, grated
  • Elbow Macaroni – 2 pounds, dry

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler to highest setting.
  2. Place the garlic, butter, and ½ teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper into a small bowl.  Mix until well combined.
  3. Spread each cut side of the baguette evenly with the butter mixture.
  4. Place the baguette halves cut side up onto a sheet pan.  Place under the broiler for 3 - 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the broiler and place the toasted baguette into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse until the texture resembles course breadcrumbs.  Set aside.
  6. In a medium sauce pan set over low heat add the milk, heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper.
  7. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid.  Set aside.
  8. Next, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rapid boil.  Add dry pasta and cook for half of the suggested cooking time.
  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  10. Drain the pasta and return it back into the pot.  Add the grated cheeses, warm milk, and cream.  Mix until well combined.
  11. Transfer the cheesy pasta into a 5 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle evenly with garlic bread crumbs and place into the oven uncovered.  Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbly. Serve hot.