February 18, 2013

buttermilk mac & cheese

This recipe started out with a surplus of buttermilk. I'd originally purchased some to use for cornbread (something that didn't make it onto this blog because I've yet to find a recipe for my ideal cornbread, which is cake-like yet robust and just slightly sweet) but there was a lot leftover.

So when I was hankering for some mac & cheese it occurred to me that I needn't resign myself to Organic Annie's box but that I could Google buttermilk mac and cheese for ideas. This came up and looked delicious.

Started with a roux of 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb flour. I let the butter go a little too long, so it got browned (but all the better for flavor it turns out). To the browned butter dark roux I added 1 1/2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup buttermilk.

Then, in went the cooked Annie's macaroni shells (6 oz), 1 cup ground turkey sauteed with garlic, 1/2 cup diced tomato, a sprinkle of sliced scallion, and salt and pepper to taste.

mac n cheese casserole

I poured the cooked mixture into one of those giant ramekin-like souffle dishes. On top I sprinkled another 1/2 cup of cheddar, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and some herbs and cayenne. This was covered with aluminum foil and baked in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. For the last couple of minutes I actually took the foil off so the crust could brown some and get more crust-like.

mac n cheese dinner

It turned out even better than I had hoped. Cheesy crust, gooey savory oh-so-comforting inside - with some sauteed mushrooms and green beans to go alongside. I'm going to be making this one again and it might even make it into the cookbook!

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