Saturday, January 2, 2010

Macaroni and cheese

My son ADORES macaroni and cheese. My husband, however, does not enjoy it. I like it a bunch. I make it from time to time, and BAJ sucks it up. I have made ONE recipe he liked, French Onion Mac n Cheese. To solve the dilemma of The Boy's loving it, we nearly always have Annie's Macaroni and Cheese in the house. Ironically, BAJ typically makes it. A had been asking for Mac and Cheese, but we ran out. At the grocery store yesterday, BAJ completely forgot until we were on our way home. Instead of finding a grocery store that was open (our usual is closed on the most minor of holidays), I said I would just make it for A--it would surely be healthier that way. Then I asked if I could just make it for all of us; I was driving envisioning myself making mac and cheese from scratch as well as the chicken meal I had planned, and it wasn't pretty considering I have a difficult time getting a main dish and two sides prepared.

To the cookbooks I went--first to ATK. Their version took an hour and 10 minutes, and Momma was hungry. I then went to my Betty Crocker Bridal edition (I'm pretty sure I've made this before) and found that their version takes 50 minutes from start to finish. SOLD. I had a snack and got to cooking.

The macaroni and cheese on Betty Crocker's website is the same as the recipe in my cookbook. See it here.

2cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7 ounces)
1/4cup butter or margarine
1/4cup all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
1/4teaspoon ground mustard
1/4teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2cups milk
2cups shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

1.Heat oven to 350ºF.
2.Cook macaroni as directed on package.
3.While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constanly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
4.Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

I used 2 cups of whole wheat rotini, and also used 1 c of whole milk and 1 c of skim milk. Finally, I had a hankering for mac and cheese the way my mom made. That means I had to get out the stewed tomatoes. I had absolutely no idea what to do with them to make them Mom's way, but just heated them on the stove. As soon as I opened that can, I realized the smell of stewed tomatoes takes me right to Mom's macaroni and cheese. Yum. So, this macaroni and cheese was NOT the same as my mom's. It was, however, gooey and cheesey and very tasty. The Boy gobbled it up. I had two helpings, and even BAJ went back for a little more.

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