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Comfort Food 101

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I wait all summer long for cooler temps and the chance to make this homey comfort food. The rich creamy flavor and texture is nostalgic and will have JDaters® clamoring for more. Nothing says love like homemade Mac and Cheese. Skip the box and go for the good stuff. After all, we are all adults even if we need a bit of comfort now and then.

Serves 6 generously

1 pound macaroni or favorite pasta shape

3 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 shallot, minced finely

2 cloves garlic minced finely

2 cups of milk (I use whole milk for this)

2 teaspoons hot sauce

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese-grated ( I use White Sharp Cheddar)

1 cup Emmentaler or Comte cheese-grated

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup of sour cream

½ cup bread crumbs-Panko is perfect for this

2 tablespoons melted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes depending upon size of pasta). Drain and set aside.

2. Place a large sauté pan over medium low heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sweat the vegetables until they are very soft (about 2 minutes). Add flour and stir together. Cook the mixture for several minutes to remove the raw flour flavor.

3. In a separate pan heat the milk until simmering. Add all at once to flour mixture. Whisk to prevent lumps. Add the hot sauce and cook until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.

4.  Stir sour cream with cooked pasta. Add cheese mixture and stir to combine. Place in a lightly greased casserole.

5. Stir bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden (about 30 minutes).

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here. For more articles by Laura, click here.
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