December 05, 2008

mac & cheese and migraines

i believe i may have had the privilege of experiencing my very first migraine today and HOO BOY, i'll pass on having any more of them, thanks. i'm hoping it was.. uh.. just one. that could happen, right? just one migraine and then.. um.. never again? i randomly got an ocular migraine once last year and that never happened again (so far) sooooo.. maybe! just this once! (ps, have any of you ever had an ocular migraine? it was WEIRD.)

anyway, my match date for tonight cancelled, which is fiiine by me because now that i can finally stand up without waves of nausea washing over me due to the pain radiating out of my right eye socket, i'd much rather spend the night relaxing on my friend's couch catching up on gossip girl than braving a night out.

so in celebration of sitting on the couch being lazy, i hereby offer up the super-delicious, super-fatty, super-awesome mac & cheese recipe i made earlier this week. i got it from gourmet mag via (which is a fantastic recipe site, by the way. highly recommend). make, eat, enjoy! then, uh, maybe go to the gym to make up for it.


For topping
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 cups panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread) [i just used store-bought bread crumbs from Whole Foods]
1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

For macaroni and sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk [i used skim]
1 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups) [i used about 1/3 gruyere, 2/3 cheddar]
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 pound elbow macaroni [i used shells]


Make topping:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Melt butter, then stir together with panko/breadcrumbs and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Make sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.

Make Macaroni:
Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.


  1. YUM! Thanks for the recipe, I was actually going to ask.

    I have never had a migraine, so not sure what that's like, but I don't want it.

  2. oh my hell

    I want - no I NEED - that mac & cheese right now

  3. Oh you poor thing! Migranes are NOT fun at all. I've had severe headaches and from what I know, migranes are ten times worse. I hope you get better soon and this doesn't hit you again.

    Thanks for the recipe! Looks delish!

  4. That would explain why you sounded so funny on the phone today. If you would have told me, I would have spoken much louder!

  5. "now that i can finally stand up without waves of nausea washing over me due to the pain radiating out of my right eye socket"

    That is exactly how mine feel. I know if I could throw up, I'd feel better sooner, but I had throwing up. So I suffer and whimper and try to sleep. It sucks.

    You MUST be feeling better if you can blog! Relax this weekend.

  6. Oooh poor you!

    Mac & cheese sounds like the perfect winter comfort food for a Cold Rainy London Saturday. YUM. British breadcrumbs are weird though. How do I make my own? Mmm I bet google will know!

  7. OMG mac and Cheese mmmmmm.. There's the rest of my day right there I think. I haven't eaten nearly enough cheese this week.

  8. Dude, I 've been known to get migraines in my lifetime. And they suck. In the most craptastic way. I'm sorry you were dealt those cards!

    Your mac-n-cheese recipe sounds scrumptious. Perfect for a warm night in!

  9. I sometimes get awful migraines. They just... take over. I hope you don't get another one :)