Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Diet Mac and Cheese with Zucchini Ribbons

Dear Lauren,

You have been cooking up a storm lately. I noticed you cooked a lot whenever we were home together. You'd ask me question after question and then get me to help you. Then you'd tell me how you cooked this or that, here or there. You'd say things like...is this or that recipe on my blog, Mom? 

Recently, Dad and I went out of town and you stayed behind to take care of our cats, Max and Catarina. And you cooked even then. You cooked out of books and you cooked based on what was in the freezer and you cooked and you cooked and you cooked. 

Then last night, you cooked for Dad and me.

As a recent college graduate with a marketing major, I figure you'll approve of the marketing title of this recipe. This is not really diet mac and cheese. We named it so because of the bread crumbs you used that were in the freezer...crumbs I made with bread Dad and I use when we're on Weight Watchers. See? Diet!

Diet Mac and Cheese with Zucchini Ribbons
by Lauren
Adapted from Sweet Paul and his cookbook, Eat & Make

Try these. So easy.
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour

3 cups whole milk, heated
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup Gruyère*, grated
1/2 cup Jarlsberg*, grated
1/2 cup Monterey Jack, grated
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil (I think we have every single variety of Sciabica, it's amazing)
2 zucchini, thinly sliced or spiral cut into ribbons with this tool like Lauren uses
1 pound dry pasta (Lauren uses cavatappi, any similar shape is fine)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (Lauren uses Personalized Bread Crumbs)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

*Gruyère and Jarlsberg is tasty, but can be expensive. If your budget doesn't allow for it, substitute 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss.

Preheat oven to 425°F. You will need a 9 x 13" baking dish.

Boil a large pot of salted water, and while you make your cheese sauce, cook your pasta.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Whisk in milk slowly to prevent lumps. Add the cream and continue to whisk for a few minutes, until the mixture is heated through. Take your time with this. To prevent scalding, do not heat the mixture too quickly. Add the cheeses. Turn the heat to low and don't allow the mixture to heat above a simmer.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook until golden brown.

Lauren made Ina's Jalapeño Cheese Crackers 
while we were out of town.
Stir together the drained pasta, the cheese sauce and the zucchini and pour it into your 9 x 13" baking dish.

Stir together the bread crumbs and the melted butter in a bowl until combined. Sprinkle it over the mac and cheese in the baking dish. 

Put the baking dish in the oven and bake until the bread crumbs are golden and crispy and the cheese is bubbly, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool 5-10 minutes and serve.


No comments:

Post a Comment