Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

By Geekmom

The great California Girl wanted my macaroni and cheese recipe.  Like most things, this is a basic recipe that you can mess with as you like.

Macaroni and Cheese

Melt 1/2 c of butter in a saucepan.  Turn off heat and add 1/2 c of four, 1/2 t mustard, 1 t salt, and a few dashes of pepper.  (Use white pepper if you don’t want black specs in it.)  Turn on heat until it bubbles stirring constantly.  Turn off heat and add 2 1/2 c milk.  Mix together well and turn heat back on to medium low.  Stirring constantly, heat until it thickens.  (By the way the butter and flour is a roux and this is technically a white sauce.)  When it has thickened, add about a pound of whatever cheese you want.  I tend to use American as I like mine smooth instead of stringy.  Use your imagination on this part.

Cook one pound of elbow macaroni and place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Pour cheese sauce over it and mix together.  I normally top it with Italian bread crumbs and/or Parmesan cheese.  Bake for a half hour at 350 degrees.

You can use your imagination for the topping – buttery cracker crumbs, bacon, more cheese, or just about anything.

White sauce is am amazing thing.  Just always use the same amount of flour and butter and you can make thinner or thicker white sauce by altering the amount of milk.  For scalloped potatoes or cheesy potatoes, just use a quarter cup and the same amount of flour and it is perfect.  I don’t put the mustard in it for scalloped potatoes as I don’t add cheese.  The mustard just makes the cheese taste cheesier.  Seriously.  If you like onions in your potatoes, saute them in the butter before adding the flour.  It works the same.  This same idea is used in creamed chicken and biscuits.  The only difference is using milk and chicken broth together to make the creamed chicken part.

And there you have it!  Another basic recipe for a family favorite that you can make as high brow as you want just by altering things a bit.

 

 

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