Sunday, June 28, 2015

grilled mac & cheese sandwiches

You...yeah you! Yes you! When you go to a restaurant do you have a compulsion to ask for the kid's menu even though you're kind of old and have no kids? Are you ashamed that you linger when the hostess asks you if you'll need any kids menus? Can you make a sandwich? If you answered yes to these three questions then venture no further. You can make this sandwich right now in the comfort of your own home without the glaring eyes of the world staring down on you. How do I know? I mean you can probably make this right now. Most people can. All you need is bread, cheese...what do you mean you don't have cheese. Everyone has cheese. I have at least five types of cheese in my fridge right now. What do you mean I'm crazy. You're the crazy one. Now you messed me up. I had a point. You get the point right? This sandwich is so easy to make that anyone, even you...yes you, can make it right now. Forget it about. I said FORGET ABOUT! You know what, you've just embarrassed me, yourself, and your family. What've you got to say for yourself...yes you! Who else would I be talking to? What did you say? WHERE CAN YOU BUY CHEESE?!?! (if you're confused keep reading)

This was a conversation I had with my neighbor's dog a couple mornings ago (see paragraph before). In all seriousness, this sandwich is probably the best sandwich you'll ever try in your entire life. It's impossible not to think of the good ol' days when you're sinking into crispy buttery bread through soft creamy mac & cheese and gooey cheddar. Classic mash-up comfort food at its finest. The best part is, it takes less than 20 minutes to make which means these are the perfect party favors...or midnight snack, depending on the type of person you are.


4 cups of macaroni
4 cups of milk
8 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cups of flour
4 cups of mild cheddar
2 cups of mozzarella
1 tablespoon of salt

optional (1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg) 

1. Season a large pot of water with salt and bring it to a boil. A good rule of thumb is to season the water like the sea. Don't put too much or else you're going to brine the pasta, but enough will give the pasta a good flavor. For an even more nostalgic mac & cheese, cook the pasta a minute more than what the directions say on the box, just like how mom used to. Drain and set aside. Momma, if you're reading this, you've never made a mistake in your life, especially cooking macaroni.

2. It's time to make the bechamel, the cream sauce. Using the same pot (without the pasta inside it of course), melt butter over the stove. Add the flour and stir while cooking for about one to two minutes. There is reason why roux is called cooking napalm, so be careful. Add a little bit of the milk and whisk. Add a little more and whisk. And a little more, and a little more until the mixture is liquidy enough that you can pour all of it in and it doesn't make a difference. Whisk vigorously to get rid of any lumps and bring to a boil.

3. Once the milk has boiled turn the stove off and add the cheeses. A combination of mild cheddar and mozzarella will yield the perfect childhood mac and cheese. If you want a more adult version try experimenting with gruyere (french swiss cheese), or fontina. Stir and add the pasta.

4. Bring the sauce and the pasta back to a boil and turn the stove off. Cover and let the pasta absorb all of that cheesy goodness. At this stage you can either keep the mac and cheese in the refrigerator until you need it or you can go right ahead and assemble the sandwiches.

5. When you make the sandwiches, try not to put too much mac or else it'll overflow. Leave about 1/4 inch on each side just to be sure. Top the mac with extra shredded cheddar and cap it with bread. Heat up a skillet with butter or olive oil and brown on both sides. Press down on the sandwich so the bread toasts evenly and the cheese gets melty. If the cheese isn't melted by the time the bread is golden brown, reserve the sandwiches in a 300F oven. Eat hot!

For all you adults out there ostracized by social standards from your menu of choice, I welcome you back home. Now in the comfort of your own home you can have delicious restaurant-quality mac and cheese without seeing disparaging glances from waiters and adjacent tables. You can dunk grilled cheese into tomato soup and grin widely without hearing whispers about the weird adult in the corner. You can play with your food and throw paper airplanes. You, my friend, are a kid again. And a sophisticated kid at that because you combined the two.

I hope you all liked this recipe. I know at times the post got a little convoluted with my puns and me switching from second and first person. Other than that I really hope you guys give this one a try. Leave a comment, like on my social media, and do all those supporting things. You don't know how happy I get when I get your comments (good or bad). I hope I see you y'all next week. I have a huge surprise for you guys so I hope you stay tuned. And as always,


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