Food & Wine

Larry's Macaroni and Cheese

The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section May 5 will feature Menu Planner, a weekly feature giving seven days of dinner menus, shopping hints and tips on using leftovers from one meal in a new way later in the week. The section also includes more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Larry's Macaroni and Cheese

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

1 pound small elbow macaroni

7 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) flour

1/3 cup minced onion

4 ounces finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heaping 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Heaping 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heaping 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pinch nutmeg

2 1/2 cups cream

3/4 cup milk

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the macaroni. Cook until the macaroni is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packaging. Drain and set aside.

While the water is coming to a boil, in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking to form a blond roux (the mixture will be very stiff at first, but will loosen slightly as the flour is hydrated), about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the onion, then the cheese, oregano, Old Bay, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk the cream and milk in slowly until fully incorporated.

Cook the mixture at a very gentle simmer, stirring frequently to cook out the flour taste, about 20 minutes (scrape the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent the flour from sticking).

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the cheese sauce. Place the mixture in a 3-quart casserole and bake until warmed through and lightly toasted on top, about 30 minutes. Cool a few minutes before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 682 calories; 17 grams protein; 56 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 44 grams fat; 27 grams saturated fat; 145 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 412 mg. sodium.

Note: Adapted from the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park.

From: Los Angeles Times.

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