Wednesday, February 01, 2012

mac & cheese

The easiest of all recipes. In fact, I do not even truly use a recipe anymore, more work with what I have available to me and what feels right. I started off, as do most, with a basic bechamel sauce, and slowly developed my own.

This recipe is the single biggest hit I've ever had with Bunny. He's in love.

Of course, there are infinite variations. Change the cheese, change the seasonings, change the pasta. Add breadcrumbs, crumbled chips (oooh salty!) or more cheese to make a crust. Mix in bits of vegetable, or bacon or seafood. Delicious. More or less milk to create a thicker or thinner sauce (same with the cheese).

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 2 cups (approximately) grated cheese
    • Note: I usually use cheddar, but seriously go wild. This is your own mac and cheese
  • 1 package pasta
    • Note 1 - I use shells. I find they hold the cheese better than macaroni, and I love how they reheat.
    • Note 2 - my favourite way to measure the pasta? Take the casserole I plan on baking and dump pasta in it until you are 2/3rds to 3/4s full. This tends to cook up properly.
  • Seasonings - my preference is:
    • 1-2 tsps each garlic powder, mustard & cumin. But this is constantly changing plus of course salt to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Bring pot of (heavily salted) water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  2. In a separate saucepot, melt butter. When liquid, add flour. Wisk together and cook a few minutes until flour is cooked through. Add milk. Continue to wisk and incorporate the milk into  the roux. When the milk thickens (it will all come together, the roux will incorporate and the mixture will start bubbling), add your spices.
  3. Turn heat down to low, and slowly stir in the cheese in small batches, until it is all equally mixed in.
  4. In casserole dish, mix together cooked pasta and your sauce. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Enjoy!

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