Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Warm Up With Homemade Mac and Cheese

A couple of years ago I needed to bake a dish for a family get-together and thankfully I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade mac and cheese. I’d had the dry, throw all the ingredients into a baking pan and wish for the best recipes and the slow cooker runny cheese, kid lovers versions but I wanted a more “sophisticated” mac and cheese dish. This was it! Yes it’s definitely more work than the other fix and forget it recipes but not so daunting that I was scared off and hence a new favorite was born. Keep in mind that this is used by me as a special dish only prepared for holidays or gatherings, not my everyday supper side dish. For those nights I use one of the usual boxed varieties. Of course I could see myself curled up on the couch on a chilly Saturday night watching movies holding a bowl of this even if it does go well with burgers from the grill or fried chicken at the Summer picnics. You’ll see it’s very versatile which is why I keep it in my recipe arsenal.

1 16oz. box uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups skim milk
16 ounces Velveeta cubed
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni as directed on package. Yes, precook and drain the macaroni. Heat margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until pasty and crumbly: remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute: remove from heat. Stir in cubed cheese until melted.

Pour cooked macaroni into large greased baking dish. Pour cheese mixture into macaroni and stir to coat.

Bake approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. I keep the lid on for 40 minutes or so and finish baking it with the lid off. Enjoy.

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