Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese


When I think of macaroni and cheese, three different visions come to mind:
  1. A blue box (the mac and cheese we had most often)
  2. Some kind of inedible mushy casserole with bread crumbs on top
  3. A creamy wonderfulness made with ultra processed "cheese food"
If allowed I would have eaten macaroni and cheese for most meals if my parents would have let me. Unfortunately for me, my dad was not the biggest fan of the blue box. Now that I am older, I understand why we were not fed the bright orange fake food. The boxed stuff is barely cheese, has very little flavor, (other than salt) and does not feel grown up. The macaroni and "cheese food" was a dish I was very fond of growing up but I can no longer get behind a soft cheese that does not need to be refrigerated.

Luckily, the French knew what to do. They have a basic cream mother sauce called b├ęchamel sauce. Add some cheese to that and you have what they call mornay sauce. Add cooked macaroni and you have a cheesy and creamy macaroni and cheese that tastes great and not from a box. You can use any kind of cheese to make this so you can get as creative as you want but in the name of simplicity and for the"just like my momma use to make" feeling I go for a cheddar flavored macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Time: 30 min
Servings 2


Ingredients:
3 cups Cooked Macaroni
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk or Cream
1/2 cup Shredded Medium Cheddar
1 1/2 tbsp Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Melt butter in 1 qt saucepan on med-low heat and whisk in all-purpose flour. Continue to Whisk mixture over the heat until the mixture is bubbling for about 5 minutes and the mixture no longer smells like flour. Slowly whisk in milk one to two tablespoons at a time until all milk is incorporated and sauce is smooth. Warms sauce until hot enough to melt cheese, whisk the cream cheese into the sauce until melted. Add cheddar cheese one quarter at a time, making sure the previous quarter is melted completely before adding the next. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix sauce with cooked macaroni and serve.

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