Sunday, November 30, 2008


By Sunday I don't even want to look at those Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers- let alone eat them. But I cannot bring myself to throw away food. I just can't do it unless its expired. The stuffing and mashed potatoes seem to disappear pretty easily. But, its all that sweet potato pie, turkey and cranberry sauce that haunts the fridge. Here are three recipes I found that will give new life to those leftovers.

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Sauce Shortcake
Cranberry Sauce Muffins
Turkey Tortilla Soup

Sweet Potato-Cranberry Shortcakes

by Katie Lee Joel

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 whole milk

Leftover cranberry sauce
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 450 F. Grease a baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and butter. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in sweet potatoes until just combined. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and the dough begins to shape into a ball.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour, coat your palm, and rub some on a rolling pin. Turn out the dough onto the work surface. Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes, folding it over onto itself each time. Rol the dough to about ½-inch thick. Flour a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or the rim of a glass) and cut out the biscuits. Reshape the leftover dough into a ball, roll it out again and cut out more biscuits until there is no dough remaining.

Place the biscuits on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. While the biscuits are still hot, spread softened butter on top of each one and let it melt.

Split each biscuit in half and fill with a few tablespoons of leftover cranberry sauce and a whipped cream.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

- makes about 12 muffins -
by Michael Harr

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole-grain wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups of leftover cranberry sauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine regular flour, whole-grain flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well. Fold into dry ingredients all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full.
4. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Turkey Tortilla Soup

3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in strips
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup purchased red or green salsa
2 14-ounces cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups cubed cooked turkey (12 ounces)
1 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
Lime wedges (optional)
Sour cream and cilantro (optional)

1. In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; the tortilla strips will not bubble after they are done. Remove the strips and drain on paper toweling.

2. In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add turkey and zucchini; heat through. Serve in bowls topped with tortilla strips, lime wedges, and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What we all save room for

I don't know about you but I consciously decide before hand what dessert I will eat from the wide array that is usually available and save room for it during the Thanksgiving Feast. My favorite is apple pie. I love it when the apples are tart and still have a slight, teeny bit of crunch to them. And it must, must, must be Dutch Apple Pie with the streusel topping. My next favorite it pumpkin pie- but I have to be in the right mood for it maybe sometimes its just too runny for me. But, Pumpkin Cheesecake, I am always in the mood for. As if the kids have not had enough treats the Aut-yum Leaves are cute and "little-fist" sized just for them- but not too sugary and gooey for the adults to enjoy too.

Happy Thanksgiving Citrus readers!!!!!

Aut- yum Leaves

Photo and recipe from Family Fun

Here's a treat no kid will leaf behind. Made with store-bought piecrust dough, these leaves are filled with cream cheese and jam--but try chocolate and peanut butter chips, or chocolate chips, walnuts, and mini marshmallows, if you prefer.


1 egg
1 teaspoon of water
Prepared pie crust
Raspberry jam
Cream cheese
Raw sugar
Flour for work surface

1. Heat the oven to 375°. Whisk one egg with a teaspoon of water and set it aside.

2. On a floured surface, roll out a prepared pie crust so it's about 1/8-inch thick. Use a large leaf-shaped cookie cutter (ours is 4 1/2-inches wide) to make as many dough leaf pairs as possible.

3. For each pocket, spread about 2 tsp of jam and 2 tsp cream cheese on a leaf, leaving a 1/2-inch margin at the edge. Brush egg wash onto the edge, place a second leaf on top, and press the edges to seal.

4. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle it generously with raw sugar. Bake the leaves on a parchment-covered cookie sheet until their edges are just beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Let them rest on the sheet a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel

This tasty recipe has you bke the apple fillimg first so you don't burn the streusel on top. Serve with some caramel sauce for an extra indulgence. Use Golden Delicious, Jonagold, or Granny Smith apples. Check out this tutorial for an easy way to slice the perfect apple slices.

by Ginny


1 (9 inch) pie shell
5 cups apples - peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Fit pastry shell into pie pan and place in freezer.
To Make Apple Filling: Place apples in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine 2 tablespoons flour, white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Mix well, then add to apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated.
Remove pie shell from freezer. Place apple mixture in pie shell and dot with 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of filling, but do not seal.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
While filling is baking, make Streusel Topping: In a medium bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and lemon peel. Mix thoroughly, then cut in 1/2 cup butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle streusel on top.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until streusel is browned and apples are tender. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

The Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 tbsp sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste.

Put foil partway up the outside part of an 8-inch springform pan. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the springform pan. You don't want the crust to form all of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set aside until you are ready to fill it.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue beating until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. The top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator.

Caramel Sauce
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats who got it from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody who got it from Baking: From My Home to Yours

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients and then put the pan over medium-high heat. Heat, without stirring , until the caramel turns deep amber., 5-10 minutes. Lower the heat a bit and, standing back from the saucepan add the cream and butter. When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner- Sides

By the time I have tackled the turkey and the pie I am usually out of steam. Here are some very simple recipes for side dishes to serve at your Thanksgiving dinner. Next week: The sweet stuff!

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Orange Scented Green Beans

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan and Marshmallow Streusel

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach

Robin Wilson

• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1/4 cup minced shallots
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 cups mixed wild mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, porcini, chanterelle, oyster, portobello, and cremini)
• 3 tablespoons dry sherry wine
• 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Add spinach (add spinach in batches if necessary), and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach wilts, turning frequently.

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Paula Deen

• 1 1/2 pounds small new red potatoes (about 15), scrubbed and dried
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pare a narrow strip of peel from the middle of each potato. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Serve hot. These can also be chilled and served with fried chicken or ham.

Orange Scented Green Beans

Rachel Ray

• Peel of 1 orange
• 2 pounds trimmed green beans, available in produce department
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Salt
• 3 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped

Fill a pan with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Add orange peel and beans. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, beans should remain bright green with a snap to them. Drain beans and return to pan. Remove peel. Toss with butter, salt and chives then transfer to a serving dish.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan and Marshmallow Streusel

Tyler Florence

• 12 large sweet potatoes
• 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
• 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash the sweet potatoes, scrubbing them well to remove any dirt. With a fork, prick the sweet potatoes in a couple of spots and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center goes in easily.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and flour together until it's crumbly-looking. Add the cinnamon, salt, pecans, and marshmallows; fold together to combine for a streusel topping .

Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise down the center and push the ends towards the middle so it opens up. Stuff the sweet potatoes generously with the streusel topping and return to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and brown.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Turkey Tips

Making the Thanksgiving Turkey is an intimidating feat. It takes some patient learning and usually a mom type to show you how its done. Thanks to The Food Network you have some tips and How To's to help you along and some great turkey recipes.

Brined, Herb Roasted Turkey if you are expecting a crowd
Roast Turkey with Apple-Sourdough Bread Stuffing if its a small party- or this just isn't your year to cook the whole bird.

1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.

2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.

4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely — or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.

5. For even roasting, truss your turkey.

6. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).

7. Don't be a peeping tom (no pun intended)! Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you're only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird. About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown.

8. Remove the turkey from the oven when the deepest spot between the leg and the breast reads 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165 degrees.

9. Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy, heat up side dishes, etc., you can let the turkey set for up to an hour without losing too much heat.

10. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electric knife.

Some more helpful How To's with pics from The Food Network:

Brining - Considered optional by some, brining helps prep the turkey to make it more moist and flavorful.

Trussing - How to tie your turkey so it cooks evenly

Carving - How to cut up those beautiful slices

photo from The Food Network

Brined, Herb Roasted Turkey

Emeril Lagasse


1 cup salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 oranges, quartered

2 lemons, quartered

6 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs rosemary

1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey

1 large orange, cut into 1/8ths

4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Salt and pepper

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths

1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 bunch sage

3 or 4 sprigs parsley

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

Turkey Broth:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Reserved turkey neck and giblets

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped

1 small bay leaf

3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth

3 cups water


4 cups turkey broth

1 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Brine:


To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a nonreactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, food grade plastic storage bag). Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary. Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy roasting pan. Rub breast side with orange segments and rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, remaining orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the turkey broth:

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.

For the pan gravy:

Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat.

Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

Slice and serve guests with desired sides.

photo from The Food Network

Roast Turkey with Apple-Sourdough Bread Stuffing

This is a great recipe if you are nervous about cooking a whole bird- whether its cooking the whole bird evenly or having all those leftovers that come from cooking the whole bird. While this recipe calls for a whole bird and you cook it in parts. If its the leftovers that you don't want, you can half the ingredients and order just a breast from the butcher.

by Robin Wilson


1 (8 to 10-pound) turkey, cut into 5 parts (breast, legs, wings), giblets removed and discarded **

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (preferably Macintosh)

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon dried sage

2 teaspoons dried thyme

4 cups sourdough bread cubes

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

**You can ask the butcher to do this for you


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Season turkey pieces all over with salt and black pepper. Rub fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon of the oregano all over outside of the turkey pieces and place turkey in a large roasting pan.

Place turkey in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh reads 180 to 185 degrees F, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, apples and celery and saute 5 minutes, until soft. Add parsley, sage, dried thyme, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oregano. Stir to coat apples and vegetables with herbs and spices. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add cubed bread and chicken broth. Toss to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a baking dish and bake in oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Comfort Food- Macaroni and Cheese

There is a reason why so few of us have had homemade macaroni and cheese and why the instant stuff is such a household staple- its hard work to make the real thing!

I have to admit, that while I was making this, sweating from cheese grating and juggling a pot of boiling macaroni while trying to make the perfect roux for the cheese sauce I thought "This better be worth it." And it is worth it! Boxed, frozen and restaurant Macaroni and Cheese don't hold a candle to this recipe.

It is so yummy for dinner, lunch the next day and dinner again if its just you and hubby :) A big crunchy salad is the perfect mac and cheese partner, so I have included recipes from Joy of Cooking: All About Salads (my salad bible) for variations on the basic vinaigrette.

Martha's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Basic Vinaigrette

photo from

Basic Vinaigrette

Serve any one of these variations over a bed of crisp lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and voila! I like to fill a large bowl with ice water and soak my washed greens for a good hour or so before drying and breaking them into the salad bowl- your salad will be extra crispy.

makes 1 1/2 cups

1 small garlic clove, peeled and mashed
2 to 3 pinches of salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 shallot minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
ground pepper to taste

Add these things to a jar, or tupperware with a tight fitting lid and mix well.

Add 1 cup extra virgin olive oil and shake vigorously until smooth.

Lemon Caper
Make the above dressing with lemon juice and add
1 Tbsp drained, minced capers
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Black Pepper
Make the above dressing and add
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp cracked black peppercorns

Basil Chive
Make the above dressing and add
1/3 cup fresh basil, minced
1/3 cup fresh chives, minced

Fresh Herb
Make the above dressing and add
1/3 cup any fresh herb like thyme, parsley or dill

Make the above dressing and rather than red wine vinegar use
cider vinegar
1 Tbsp horseradish

Martha Stewart’s Creamy Mac-and-Cheese

from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics

I used regular cheddar since I could not find “white cheddar” and romano cheese. You must grate the Romano since it will not melt down like the cheddar which I simply cubed.

Serves 12- more like 6 at our house…

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.