Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

I really hate the stuff out of the blue box--my kids eat it once in awhile, but I won't touch it. This recipe is everything Mac & Cheese should be, and once you've had it you'll never go back. It takes a little time, but it's still very easy.

It can be quite a grown-up meal if you experiment with fun types of cheese (Swiss, white Cheddar, real Parmesan, anything!) and add in some good stuff (sausage, chicken, even shrimp or pepperoni). Last night I added a chopped, cooked chicken breast, then sprinkled the top with shredded basil and diced tomatoes from my garden. WOW!

2 C uncooked elbow macaroni (7 oz)
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard (dry)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 C milk
2 C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cookin, melt margarine in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted.

Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole (8- or 9-inch square). Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

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