My first guest post comes from Amy at Wicked Good Travel. Amy hosted a guest post from me a wee while ago, which I was delighted if nervous to provide! She’s done me a solid here and written up what sounds like some pretty stellar mac and cheese – M&C is absolutely my go-to comfort food, too, so I’m excited to give this a go. Without any further ado, I present to you her recipe!
I’m so excited for Carol Anne’s adventure into http://www.nanowrimo.org/, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, where one is challenged to write 50,000 words in one month. She has major cojones for taking this on! As a writer as well, I have to say it scares me to have that kind of a deadline and of so many words, but I know she can do it. Go Carol Anne!
(Note from Carol Anne: thank you! It is pretty scary but I am currently riding the wave of excitement. Give me a week…)
So, as Carol Anne retreats from the blog for the month of November to work on her novel I’m here to help out with a guest blog post. After the absolutely amazing job she did in helping me out back in September, I cannot hold a candle to her post. But I’m gonna try. For those that don’t know me, I’m Amy, from Wicked Good Travel & Activities. Originally a Boston-based blog, but here in Glasgow for a couple years while I work on a postgrad degree.
Anyway, onto the good stuff. One dish I have a slight obsession with is homemade Mac n’ Cheese. Anyone who feels like going back into the archives of Wicked Good Travel will be able to see our Mac n’ Cheese face-off competitions. Friendly competitions we did two years in a row amongst my Mac n’ Cheese lovin’ friends. Both times I came close to first, the second time I only lost because I didn’t vote for myself….wah wah.
A few weeks ago I decided I needed another Mac n’ Cheese fix. So, off to the grocery I went. I have found a recipe from Martha Stewart to use as a base, that I love. Its easy, no additional baking required, and its oh-so-creamy. I think its great on its own, but I say ‘base’ because I think this is a great recipe for jumping off into all kinds of creative additions. Since we’re full-on into the fall season, and I had one sweet potato on the edge, I decided to do a Sweet Potato Mac n’ Cheese.
(Note from Carol Anne: I couldn’t bear the suspense any longer. This is what sweet potato mac n’ cheese looks like: divine.)
Below is the Martha Stewart version of the recipe. All I did this time was add in the sweet potato at the same time as the shredded cheddar cheese, and in place of cayenne pepper I added ground nutmeg instead. I also used lactose-free milk and skipped the onion, and it still is wonderfully delicious. We paired this with some glorious Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin and had a warm, hearty, not-remotely-healthy, comforting dinner on a chilly night.
(Note from Carol Anne – I’ve added in Amy’s extras in bold, below)
Stovetop Sweet Potato Mac n’ Cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (optional)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Coarse salt
- 4 cups whole milk (or your milk of choice)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or nutmeg)
- 3/4 pound large shell pasta, elbow macaroni or other pasta of choice
- 4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
- Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy. About 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, sweet potato and Worcestershire.
- Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.
Thank you again Amy, you are a legend for helping me out with this post AND giving me some dinner inspiration for the week when I’m off work and will be scrimmaging around trying to get my word count up. This sounds exactly right – not too time consuming, hugely comforting and it’s got a vegetable in it.
Sometimes, food is a hug.