Monday, April 2, 2012

My favorite Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese is one of those foods that you just have to make. If your mac & cheese is coming out of a box and is made of orange powder, you really have to try your hand at making it yourself. It's worth every bit of effort. This recipe is something I came up with after watching my mom make her mac & cheese for years. It's tasty creamy or baked.

Update 7/30/14

I love to make this as a freezer meal. Sometimes I double it, but most times I simply divide the yield between two pans. I serve one that night, and then toss the other in the freezer. It's great for new parents, busy weeknights, or building your freezer stash. Just place the unbaked Mac and Cheese in the freezer and when you want it just place it the oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly. Super easy!
Mac & Cheese

16 oz block extra sharp cheese, shredded
4 slices of American Cheese
4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
4 cups milk
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 box of elbow macaroni
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a large pot of water on to boil.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat, to it add the flour and cook about 2 minutes until the flour stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until it starts to smell browned. Slowly whisk in milk.

Bring the milk up to a simmer, but not boiling, and slowly whisk in the cheese and spices. Continue whisking the cheese and milk mixture until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth, allow the cheese sauce to thicken a bit while you cook your pasta as directed on the package.

Once the pasta is cooked, slowly add it to the cheese sauce, making sure that it is well mixed. Check for seasoning, you may want to add a little more salt and pepper.  If you want creamy mac & cheese, grab a bowl you're all set.

If you want baked mac and cheese, spray a large glass baking dish with a little bit of cooking spray. Pour mac & cheese into the dish and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the mac & cheese is browned on top and bubbly.

Happy Cooking!


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