Beyond the Blue Box…

The ultimate comfort food has been and will always be macaroni and cheese. There’s nothing quite like the taste of soft, stretchy cheese and warm, melt-in-your-mouth pasta to set one’s soul at ease. Forget Kraft’s blue box and catchy commercials; over the years, many Boston restaurants have embraced this classic dish, putting their own twist on the recipe. In fact Boston magazine’s December issue featured its picks for the best mac ‘n cheese around town. This is a trend I truly hope is not dying any time soon. Whether you’re in the mood to eat out or cook up a storm in your own kitchen, here are my favorites for mac ‘n cheese!

Columbus Café
535 Columbus Ave, Boston
The addition of roasted asparagus mixed with an abundance of blended cheese hits the spot. This is my absolute favorite mac ‘n cheese in Boston!

Stephanie’s on Newbury and Stephi’s on Tremont
190 Newbury Street & 571 Tremont Street, Boston
Buttery bread crumbs and prosciutto make this menu item oh-so-savory!

Grafton Street
1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
Variety is the spice of life! This dish allows you to add smoked sausage, native lobster or seasonal veggies.

Alyssa’s Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese (from myrecipes.com)
INGREDIENTS:
1 (8-oz.) package of elbow macaroni (I use whole wheat shells instead)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 (8-oz) block of sharp Cheddar cheese; shredded and divided (I buy shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. The shredded Mexican blend of cheese works well too!)

PREPARATION:
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in floor until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually add in milk and cook, whisking constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black and red pepper, 1 cup of shredded cheese and cooked pasta.
3. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Be generous!
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Posted by Alyssa

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