Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Reduced Fat Macaroni & Cheese

Summer is almost here so, yesterday, I tried on a pair of shorts.

They were ... tighter than I remember them to be.

So either clothes are now shrinking during winter storage (which I'm not ready to rule out) or writing a food blog causes one's ass diameter to increase. (Damn you food blog! DAMN YOU!)

Hence, this Cook's Country recipe for Reduced Fat Macaroni.

The words "Reduced Fat" don't make anyone's mouth water but in this case, it should. I'm very impressed -- creamy with great cheese flavor. The family demolished it last night.

No one will know that it's lower in calories; you can pass it off as artery-clogging goodness. I wish I'd made a double-batch so that it would be ready to go for dinner tonight.

Reduced Fat Macaroni and Cheese: you can have your comfort food and eat it too. And fit into your summer shorts.

Reduced Fat Macaroni & Cheese

1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

½ cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar (3 oz.)
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup part-skim ricotta
1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. salt
½ lb. elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. powdered mustard
2½ c. skim milk
½ tsp. Tabasco (optional)

For the topping, toss bread crumbs with butter and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, process cheddar, parmesan and ricotta until no large pieces remain, one to two minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Bring 4 quarts waters to boil in a Dutch oven or pot over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and macaroni, cooking until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain macaroni and leave in colander.

In the now empty Dutch oven/pot, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour and mustard and cook, whisking until smooth, about one minute. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk and Tabasco and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking frequently, until mixture becomes slightly thicker than heavy cream, two to four minutes.

Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheese mixture and ½ tsp. of salt until cheese is melted. Add pasta and cook, stirring constantly over medium-low heat, until mixture is steaming, two to three minutes.

Transfer mixture to a broiler-safe 8-inch-square baking disk and sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Broil until crumbs are a deep, golden brown, two to four minutes. Rotate pan, if needed, for even browning. Cool two minutes and serve.

4 as a main course; 6 as a side.

Grade: A

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey Laura,
I was browsing when I stumbled onto your blog. I am from Toronto... so I'll say welcome to my city (in 2 weeks!!!). When u r in the city, don't forget to get the city pass... which is a discount pass to all the major attractions in the city... u can buy it from one of the 7-8 attractions... some of them are the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, CN tower. There's lots to do... check out www.toronto.com

Have a nice trip... enjoy!