There are times when my wife thinks I’m a fraud. Sometimes she may even be right. In one case, though, she really isn’t.
When I was in the seventh grade I first noticed that my vision was deteriorating. I had to squint to see the board and found that anything of any real distance was just not in focus. My mom took me to the optometrist and, sure enough, I needed glasses. Over the next few years the vision kept getting a little worse and then stabilized at 20×200. Not good at all.
For the first year I wore glasses. Not one for fashion, my choice in frames was an unfortunate one. I looked like a real dork. Lucky for me, I was able to move into contact lenses after that first year and I never looked back. I wore contacts almost every day for the next 23 years.
About ten years ago, I finally had enough in the bank and was frustrated enough by my contacts to opt in for laser eye surgery. I had both eyes done at once and my first check-up showed that I ended up with better than average vision (20×10). In annual check-ups, I have consistently been 20×20 or better.
Vision is one thing. Seeing, is another.
I may walk into a room several times and not notice something. Folded laundry to put away. Dishes on the counter to wash. The Ranting Wife thinks it is a case of selective vision. I plead innocence. For real. I just don’t see it.
Of course if there was a steaming plate of macaroni and cheese, there would be no way I’d miss it!
This recipe pretends to be a little healthier by having sliced tomatoes in it. They do add another dimension of flavor.
I bought the Gruyere already grated.
Making a roux.
With the milk and cheese.
Ad the pasta.
Topped with the tomatoes. I used the roma kind as they hold up a bit better.
Out of the oven.
I can see how delicious this is!
Mac and Cheese
Makes: 6 to 8 servings | Difficulty: –
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
- 1 quart milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
- 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.