kruizing with kikukat

Monday, November 23, 2015

Almost Homeroom : Macaroni and Cheese

Sorry for the late post...I had my setting wrong.  Senior moment. . .and foreshadowing of what to expect soon.

This year I'm trying something different.  The Help bought the turkey dinner package from Safeway.  I've never had the Safeway dinner.  A few years ago, The Help bought the Sack N Save turkey dinner.  It will be nice to compare them.  Zippy's also offers a pre-made meal, but the cost is nearly double the Safeway meal.
Since he has taken much of the work off my hands, I can expend my effort into making side dishes and dessert.  The meal comes with mashed potatoes, but since I don't think potato salad (a traditional local side dish) goes well with roast turkey and gravy, I think I will make macaroni and cheese instead.

Over the years, I have had some really good macaroni and cheese both at restaurants and at home.  Kincaid's makes a kick ass lobster macaroni and cheese.  12th Avenue Grill is known for their macaroni and cheese with alii oyster mushrooms.  I've made different versions of Barefoot Contessa's macaroni and cheese, and there is probably an infamous blue box, or two, in my pantry as I'm writing this post.  While I like to consider myself a macaroni and cheese connoisseur, I'm not the picky eater in my home.  D2 is the picky eater, and out of all the macaroni and cheese, save EasyMac, this is the only version she doesn't complain about.

This recipe was adapted from a macaroni and cheese recipe served at the Homeroom Restaurant in Oakland, CA.  You can find that recipe here.  I have never been to the Homeroom Restaurant, but I would like to purchase their cookbook and try more macaroni and cheese variations.  I would have made the Homeroom version exactly as posted, but I didn't have the same cheeses.  I am not fond of sharp cheddar either so I wasn't about to send The Help to the supermarket to buy the exact cheese.

My friend OllieMama grew up in Northern Cal, but she said she has not been to the restaurant either.  Maybe she can pay them a visit on her next trip home.  I don't have any plans to be in the Oakland area anytime soon, so until then, I will just enjoy my copycat version.  I suppose she will read this and ask me to save a portion for her to enjoy after Thanksgiving.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 c milk
     3 tbsp butter
     1/4 c flour
     1 1/4 tsp salt
     8-9 oz uncooked pasta
     4 oz shredded colby & jack cheese
     1 1/2 oz grated parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
     1/4 c panko or breadcrumbs, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Allow pasta to drain while preparing sauce.  Heat milk in microwave for 2 minutes.  Melt butter in a heavy dutch oven over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk until golden brown.  Add hot milk, whisking constantly until milk is fully incorporated.  Cook 3 minutes until sauce thickens.  Add salt.  If not salty enough, add another 1/4 tsp of salt.  Stir in cheeses.  When mixture is smooth, gently stir in cooked pasta.  Heat until pasta is hot, about 3 minutes.  Serve immediately.

You may also place in 2 1/2-3 quart baking dish, sprinkle with panko or breadcrumbs, and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, but I prefer to eat this without baking.


  1. Hi Kikukat!

    I read your blog religiously every Monday! Like you, I am a teacher and am also ordering our Thanksgiving meal from Safeway this year. I can't wait to read about what you think of it. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all of the 'ono recipes!

    1. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Can't wait to hear YOUR take on the Safeway meal. I'm still shocked it didn't include a dessert!