Friday, October 12, 2012

Super Yummy Mac and Cheese, from scratch

Below is my mother in law's recipe for mac and cheese.  It came from an old BHG cookbook.  The new one they post on the web isn't the same.  Variation #2 is my own version.

Macaroni and Cheese
16 ounces dried elbow macaroni or desired-shape pasta
6  tablespoons butter or margarine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 cups low-fat milk
16 oz. sliced American cheese
1.       Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce in saucepan, stirring to coat. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  If you like to reheat mac and cheese, this is the best way to make it.
      Makes 8 servings

      But if you like a crispy crust on top, then try this variation...
Variation:  Oven Macaroni and Cheese:: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare as above, except increase milk to 2 cups. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs over top for a crispy crust.  Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Don't overbake!  It will dry out if you do.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Variation 2:  Add 16 oz. frozen peas (defrosted and cooked) with 1 ham steak (chopped) for a more complete main dish.

Happy Mac and Cheese making!  We've been eating this a lot lately because my kids love it so much and honestly, it's just as good for you as the packaged stuff (several people commented online that they were concerned about the fat content.  If the American cheese and milk are reduced fat, I feel like it's a pretty good ratio.  It is mac and cheese after all!

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