I have still got the itch to cook with the skillet we picked up while on vacation. I really don’t know why either. There is just something about it that makes me feel warm inside. With all of the comfort food rolling around the internet these days and my own uncontrollable urge to wrap myself in warm, gooey foods, I thought the next natural dish for the skillet would be mac and cheese!
This came together really quickly and I think the original recipe was written in a way that any home cook can replicate it. It uses one 11 inch skillet and one pasta pot. How simple is that! I found it over at Serious Eats, who credited Jennifer Hess of Last Night’s dinner. You can read the original here. The result was a beautiful dish that made my heart sing and I just had to share it.
Skillet Macaroni & Cheese.
1 pound dry pasta (I used tri-colored veggie shells)
1/4 C unsalted butter
1/4 C flour
2 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
dash of hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
1 t dried mustard
1 t kosher salt
2 C sharp farmhouse cheddar, shredded
1 C Gruyere, shredded
1 C fresh parmesan, grated (1/2 C reserved for topping and not put into sauce)
2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
Get pasta boiling in a large stock pot, season water with salt if you like. Remove and drain when the pasta is al dente. (If you are using shells it is okay if the centers still have quite a bit of tooth.)
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add flour and whisk to ensure the mixture is smooth and silky. Slowly add milk and cream, whisking continuously. Add hot sauce, mustard, and salt and continue whisking.
Begin adding cheese a little bit at a time (like 1/2 handful) whisking until all of the cheese is melted before adding more. When all of the cheese is melted add pasta and mix to combine.
In a medium bowl mix reserved parmesan, bread crumbs, and herbs together and sprinkle over the top of the pasta and cheese.
Place in oven over a cookie sheet (in case anything drips while cooking) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving because it is going to be hot!