Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mama's Mac-n-Cheese.

After this post I had some requests for the full recipe of this bubbling cheesy gem.

Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Mac-n-Cheese

Well, I am happy to share it with you.
Let me tell you up front that I don't always have exact measurements because I've been making baked mac-n-cheese for so long that I just wing it.
But I'll do my best.
 The interweb is an infinite abyss of information so find one you like if you're not comfortable "wingin' it"
 and you can add almost anything to it.

Here we go.

Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Mac-n-Cheese

Boil off 1lb. (one box) of whole grain elbow macaroni or any smaller shaped pasta that you prefer.

Steam two bags of organic diced butternut squash until tender.
Wash and chop swiss chard. Remove any large stems. 
You do not have to precook the chard. 
Set aside.

Be sure to use a pot large enough to incorporate
 all you ingredients in the end.
Make the roux.
Melt about a half stick of butter and add in about 3-4 tbsp. of flour.
Whisk constantly until it turns golden. 
Add in about 3-4 cups of whole milk and 1-2 cups heavy cream and whisk until your roux has dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken.
Season with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg.
Add your cheese.
I used 3 cups shredded cheddar but the possibilities are endless.
Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

Finish it up.
Add in the steamed squash.
Use your whisk to mash and puree the squash into the bechamel.
Add the pasta.
(You'll want to switch to a mixing spoon at this point.)
Mix until the past and sauce are well incorporated.
Add the swiss chard.
Mix well.
Transfer to a casserole dish.
Top with grated parmesan and bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 until bubbling and golden brown.
You could skip this step and put it right in the freezer or bake and freeze or put it in the fridge for later or just start eating it right out of the casserole dish.
Let it cool a little first though.

I hope this was helpful!
If I left anything out or you have a question leave it in the comments and I'll address it for you.

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