yeah, my food is on YouTube. your point???

when i first moved up to NYC and was still trying to get my bearings, there were a few things that instantly became comforts in 'the big scary city' - and most of them came from Fairway... either the hot food counter or the spin dip/baguette combo...

well, it must have been cold one day last month, because for some unknown reason, i decided that i needed to make the mother of all cold weather comfort food - mac & cheese. and i decided to base it on the recipe published as Fairway's. and i decided to wait for another fall-like day to publish it here. luckily for you, its raining and 60° in NYC today... fall, finally.

i got the book, Macaroni & Cheese, a while back but at the time, had no idea that they had the recipe for the since-discontinued Fairway Mac & Cheese - one of my good friends those first few months.
It was only after noticing some yummy pasta & cheese goodness on the cover of a Vegetarian Times that i even thought to pick up the cookbook (the VT recipe was like, lo cal or something. and what the hell is the point of making mac & cheese - 2 decidedly un-diet-friendly items - if you are going to try to dietize it???) and while flipping through, came across the Fairway recipe...

(for those either in or familiar with NYC, the book also has recipes from the Soho Grand, Chat n' Chew's and the Comfort Diner - non-NYers, i think thats the diner of final scene of Devil Wears Prada fame, but i'm too lazy to put the DVD in and look it up... But perhaps most surprisingly, they also have Norma's 'Chunks of Lobster Swimming in Cheesy Macaroni')

The cool thing about mac & cheese is that its another one of those things that, even if you mess it up and its bad, its still macaroni & cheese. and therefore, its still going to be good.

That said, I'd like to pretend that i looked at the ingredient list and came up with a few tweaks that i thought may improve the flavor/texture/color/whatever but the only differences between my mac & cheese and fairway's mac & cheese is that, once again, i cant read instructions... I guess i had looked at so many recipes that day that the shopping list got muddled... i could pretend that the differences were on purpose and go on and on about how this change made it creamier or spicier or more SOMETHING and really, none of you would ever know the difference. but the fact of the matter is they werent, and i have no need to make myself seem more important or talented than i already am.

my mac & cheese kicked ass. so much ass that i gained no less than 3lbs in as many days since i ate it for dinner every night. if the true test of a recipe is whether the leftovers are eaten or thrown away a month later after they are unidentifiable, well then, kids, we have a winner.

broccoli included in an effort to cancel out the inherent unhealthiness of it all. given those 3 lbs that i mentioned, i'm going to say that it didnt work...

Fairway mac & cheese

96% taken from Macaroni & Cheese – Joan Schwartz

½ lb elbow or other macaroni of choice

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
½ c skim milk
½ c light cream
½ c heavy cream

½ lb shredded Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar (about 2 cups)
¼ lb shredded Comte (about 1 cup)

1 green onion, cut into small pieces
1/6th tsp nutmeg
3 – 4 dashes hot sauce

Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

1.5 tbsp plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter 8x8 glass baking dish (don’t use the butter listed above, this is in addition)

Cook macaroni in accordance with directions, until al dente. Put in large mixing bowl.

In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat
Whisk in flour, eliminating any lumps
Raise heat to medium high and whisk in milk, heavy cream and light cream and allow to boil

Reduce heat back to medium and add cheeses.
Stir with wooden spoon until melted.

Mix in green onion, nutmeg and hot sauce.
Salt & pepper to taste.

Pour cheese mixture over macaroni, stirring to incorporate well.
Transfer to the baking dish, topping with bread crumbs, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a few twists of fresh pepper, if desired.

Bake 20 – 25 mins until bubbly and golden brown.

Allow to set 10 minutes before serving.


roopa said...

You are SUCH a dork for recording the bubbling of your mac and cheese.

And you're also a tease because NOW I WANT SOME! It looks REALLY tasty! (except for the green onions, which I think have no place in mac and cheese - ONLY dairy and carbs belong in there!)

beagle said...


Critics' Pick Admin said...

Did you ever see the mac & cheese episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay? I looked up the opponent's recipe and (stupidly) ran a nutritional analysis to find out it had 3,000 calories and two days' worth of fat in one serving. EEK!

But I agree, no point skimping on a dish like that. Yours looks tasty. :)

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