Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Creamy Mac 'n Cheese

I adore macaroni and cheese. But only if it's homemade. I used to make a version that called for canned cheese soup. I've revised it to make it a little healthier - although it does contain a lot of cheese! But you can't have mac 'n cheese without a whole lot of cheese, can you?
 Here's what you need:

8 oz. dry macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teas salt
1/4 teas pepper
1/2 teas dry mustard
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
paprika, optional

Cook the macaroni according to package directions for al dente. The macaroni is going to soak up some of the cheese sauce you're about to make. So if it's overcooked, the mac will be mushy.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard and whisk until blended. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Over medium heat, stir constantly until boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook for one more minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir in the macaroni and make sure all the pasta is covered with sauce. Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. If desired, sprinkle a little paprika over the cheese for some extra color.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the whole casserole is bubbly.

Please note that you can substitute other cheeses for the cheddar. I have replaced half the cheddar with shredded pepper jack cheese for a zesty twist, and it's amazing!

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