5-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese {Mind Over Batter}

My Dearest Cupid,

I see you gallivanting about with your cherub face, heart shaped arrows and little cloth diaper. While we’re on the subject – Aren’t you a little too old to wear diapers? Just saying… You’re thousands of years old. Shouldn’t you be potty trained? Ok, never mind. We won’t discuss the diaper. It’s fine. This isn’t what my letter is about, anyway.

Cupid, I have a bone to pick with you. You go around shooting people in the tush with your heart arrows and they find love. This is great. There is nothing greater than love, or being in love, or finding true love. For that I commend you. I don’t, however appreciate how you only shoot a certain lucky few. I don’t understand that. Isn’t everyone entitled to love? What makes these people more important? I mean, Santa Claus gives presents to everyone in the world in one night. What’s the deal with the exclusivity?

Don’t get me wrong, Cupid. I truly appreciate the love arrows you’ve shot my way, but others haven’t been so lucky. They haven’t faired as well, and I just don’t think it’s fair.

In this world there are a great many people who are heartbroken, rejected, and downright lonely. I feel for those people – And it seems you don’t care. Guess what Cupid? I care. Because I care I’m going to show the ones who didn’t get flowers and chocolate on Valentine’s Day some love.

With cheese, lots of it, and little macaroni shaped like elbows. Yes, Cupid – Today I say I love you to all lonely peeps with 5-cheese macaroni and cheese. Cause someone has to love them best!

Valentine’s Day is about love. Since you believe certain people are not entitled to it, at least there’s love in my macaroni and cheese. Dude, you just ain’t doing your job. So from now on, call me the Nega-Cupid. You can take your little heart-shaped arrows, and those little blond curls of yours and shove it – Cause this is my house now – Back up!

I hope in time you understand and address my concerns. If not, well… I’m just gonna have to take over. Every year… Until you change. Yes, I’m going to be in your face, Cupid. I’m going to show you how love is done.

Perhaps you need to reflect. Perhaps you have been blinded by the red dust that puffs off your arrows. It happens…Go back to the beginning. Remember why you became Cupid in the first place. Take some time… Let it swirl in your brain a little.

If at any point you give this thought and still determine only a certain few are entitled to love… Well Cupid, you know where you can go – And where you can shove your little discriminatory heart arrows. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you, dude.

It’s ON!

5-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese {Mind Over Batter}

Love,

Me…

P.S. A man your age shouldn’t be wearing a diaper, or pretending to be a little boy. Seriously dude, it’s a little creepy… Not cool at all…

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Recipe: With Love: 5-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese

Summary: Adapted from Emeril’s Macaroni with 4 Cheeses!

Ingredients:

  • For the Macaroni & Cheese
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 3 1/2 cups half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality parmesan cheese (about 1 cup), divided
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese, setting aside 2 ounces
  • 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese, divided
  • 4 ounces grated fontina cheese
  • 4 ounces grated asiago cheese
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Emeril’s Essence, recipe follows

For The Essence:

Adapted from: Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (Essence)

  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Directions: Combine all the essence ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl and set aside. You will have about 1 ½ tablespoons of essence.

Instructions for Macaroni & Cheese:

We are going to start with a Béchamel sauce. Once we add cheese it will magically become a non-traditional Mornay sauce.

  1. First make a roux – In a medium sized saucepan over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes until the roux reaches a nice golden color.
  2. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. You have made a Béchamel sauce – Yay!
  3. Turn off the heat and season with the salt, pepper, hot sauce and ½ teaspoon of essence.

Are you ready to go from Béchamel to Mornay?

  1. Add 2 ounces of cheddar, 2 ounces of gruyere and 2 ounces of parmesan cheese to the Béchamel sauce. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and smooth. You have made a Mornay! You will have a nice thick cheese sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs with remaining tablespoon of essence. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine the remaining 2 ounces of parmesan, remaining 2 ounces of gruyere, and remaining 6 ounces of cheddar. Add the 4 ounces of Asiago, and 4 ounces of fontina cheese. Toss to combine.
  5. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste and add the macaroni. Cook until the macaroni is very al dente (the macaroni should be slightly undercooked, so hover over that pot). Drain in a colander.
  6. For the next step, you can either return the macaroni to the pot, or just do it in the colander – Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the garlic. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the macaroni to the Mornay sauce and stir until well combined. If it looks too dry, you can add about ¼ cup of half and half. Set aside.
  8. With remaining ½ tablespoon of butter, grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. A large casserole dish works well here too.
  9. Spoon one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.
  10. Sprinkle the prepared breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  11. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★

M.O.B. Legal Disclaimer: This macaroni and cheese is total fat kid food and not for the faint of heart. Please proceed with caution and a pair of stretchy pants!

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