Classic Comfort

Autumn is a time of cooler days and crisp nights. Short days with less daylight is a primer for comfort foods. So for those of us seeking comfort, Mac & Cheese might just be the most popular comfort food on tonight's menu.

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Macaroni and cheese is simple to make, and the secret is to use a mixture of good cheeses.

George’s Classic Jack Mac

Makes 6 servings

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2 Tablespoons Butter

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon hot sauce

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups half & half

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Jack cheese, shredded

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 pounds uncooked elbow, shells, or other small pasta

Melt Butter in a large soup pot or saucepan. Add onion, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, thyme, hot sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the half & half and heat to a simmer. Slowly add the Cheddar, Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked pasta. Place in a serving dish and eat immediately or sprinkle with Mac Topping (optional), and bake five minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

For the Mac Topping

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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