Annabel Cohen's best macaroni and cheese - FOX 32 News Chicago

Annabel Cohen's best macaroni and cheese

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Get this recipe courtesy of Annabel Cohen with AnnabelCooks and the FAR Conservatory. Remember, their Flutes, Friends and Fa-la-la will take place Wednesday, November 20 at Seligman Center in Beverly Hills.

The ultimate comfort food that's so easy to make you may never buy the blue box with powdered sauce again. Use any shape pasta you want for this dish and add some fixings such as crumbled crispy bacon or pancetta and fresh blanched peas or asparagus spears and you have a gourmet side dish.

1 pound pasta shape, cooked according to recipe directions and drained, but not rinsed.
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup  flour
2 1/2 cups hot milk or half and half
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese or any combination of cheeses (see NOTE below), plus more cheese, garnish
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
Paprika, garnish

NOTE: For variation use any combination of cheeses you like such as Chevre (goat cheese), Gorganzola, Parmesan, Fontina, Gouda, Muenster, Swiss, Gruyere, Brie, Romano, etc.

If you'd like add ingredients to make this dish fancier, consider these: chopped vegetables, peas, smoked salmon, cream cheese, poached salmon or tuna, cubed chicken or turkey, cooked crab or lobster meat, hard boiled egg, chopped green onions, toasted slivered almonds or pinenuts, toasted buttered bread crumbs or crumbled potato chips on top, capers, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Melt the butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes making sure that the mixture does not brown. Whisk in the hot milk until the sauce is smooth and thickened Add the cheese and optional ingredients and season to taste with the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. Bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbly. Serves 6 to 8.

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