Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Macaroni and Cheese

It's that time of the week again!  Recipe day!  This is one of my family's favorite recipes.  My 14-year-old doesn't usually care too much what she puts in her mouth but she had seconds and thirds the last time I made this.  It tastes absolutely nothing like any of the boxed varieties (and that's a good thing).

This recipe is a really basic one for me.  I wanted homemade mac and cheese one day so I just started making it.  I really don't have it written down anywhere (until now).  You can also eliminate the macaroni and use the sauce for fondue- it's wonderful on cubed bread or toast and fresh veggies!

It's not the healthiest recipe but at least when you make something from scratch, you can substitute healthier ingredients- and you know you're not getting all of those chemicals.  Use whole-wheat pasta (I used the rainbow kind here), skim milk, lowfat mozzarella (for the cheddar), and, well, there's not a lot of substituting you can do for the butter but you can use a lower-fat margarine (don't try to brown it like the recipe says-just melt it).  I'm more worried about avoiding chemicals than fat and sugar (for right now, anyway) so I just use the butter.

Macaroni and Cheese
Sorry for the lousy picture- I had to use my cell phone...
12 oz bag macaroni
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Boil the macaroni in lots of water until it's done, drain it and set aside. Melt the butter over fairly high heat, stirring often, until it starts to brown. Add the flour all at once and whisk until smooth. Lower the heat to medium and slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until mixture has started to thicken. When it's about the consistency of a nice, thick cream gravy, take it off the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to cool a little. Put the sauce back on the heat (low this time) and add the cheeses and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, over low heat until the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and creamy. Add the sauce mixture to the macaroni and serve.

I usually serve it as a side dish with pork chops or salmon.  It's also great with a baked ham!


P.S.  If you ever try one of my recipes, come back and comment.  I'd love to know what you think!

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