Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cooking: Mac and Cheese from Scratch

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day! We were in sunny Phoenix enjoying the pool. I apologize for not offering up a summery salad or cool treat, but though summer has officially started (yippee!!) it still feels a bit like comfort food back at my home!

There are those who can follow a recipe well, and then there are those who cook "by heart" or "by taste" much as someone plays piano "by ear." I have always been in the former category. My husband on the other hand can just throw something together on the stove. He learned the basics of cooking from his mother and has been improvising ever since. Maybe it has to do with me being a "rule follower" but I haven't had the confidence or felt the whim to cook this way. Until recently. And I'm loving it!

I think it's so interesting how one skill or hobby can influence another. I credit crochet for my new approach to cooking. It was with crochet that I first started going it on my own. Then sewing. Now cooking. Does it work that way for everyone?

All of that said, I do have a recipe for this Mac and Cheese. It's nice to end up with one so something that tastes good (and this really does--even my husband was impressed and he is the resident Mac and Cheese maker!) can be duplicated. If you'd like it click to read more. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make something this yummy!


1 lb elbow pasta
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
8 oz. grated medium cheddar cheese
  • Boil water for your pasta. Add plenty of kosher or sea salt to the water--a couple tablespoons.
  • While waiting for the water to boil make a white sauce, but with less milk than the normal ratio so it is creamier.  Do this by melting 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat and whisking in 3 tablespoons flour to form a roux. Stir continuously until golden, about four minutes. Then whisk in two cups of milk. Cook over medium heat until it thickens a bit, stirring continuously.
  • When your water is boiling add a 1 lb box of elbow pasta and cook according to the directions for "al dente." I have to say I believe Barilla brand pasta to be the best choice. When the pasta is ready pour it out into a colander but don't rinse--shake it around a bit to get rid of most of the water. Then pour it back into the pot you used to cook it.
  • When your white sauce has thickened a bit add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Then stir in about 8 ounces of grated medium cheddar cheese.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to combine.
  • Serve!

This recipe makes a good amount, which is nice because it rewarms just fine. I hope you like it!


tamela said...

Yes, this recipe is the best! That's how I make my mac n cheese, and I love it so much better than the box!

Olives and Pickles said...

I also make it from scratch!
Thanks for sharing

Deborah said...

This post comes at exactly the right time. I needed an easy, great tasting, from scratch mac n cheese for a kids birhtday party.
Thanks for sharing.

PamJ said...

Thanks for posting! I am determined NOT to buy the pkgd Mac&Cheese so having a recipe that even the husband can follow is perfect :)

Elaine said...

Add. To. Favorites. :) Haven't tried it, but ohhhh, I'm-a-gonna! Thanks for recipe!

Amy said...

I know what you mean by being a rule-follower: I follow every recipe, every pattern, every instruction to the T. I can't deviate. I can't play the piano unless the sheet music is in front of me. Unlike you, however, I don't see myself ever branching out. I'll continue to follow a recipe for homemade mac n cheese and everything else!
We love homemade mac n cheese, by the way, and we can't stand the orange boxed stuff.

Anonymous said...

Neat! We make our mac and cheese in the oven. The cheese gets pizza-stretchy and it gets good chewy corners, kind of like brownies.

Kathy said...

Yum! I make a very similar recipe. My kids could eat it every day for lunch! Barilla pasta is the best!!

Tammy said...

I love homemade mac and cheese, but alas my husband thinks the artificially flavored icky stuff is better. LOL So I do make it occasionally for myself (the real stuff, that is), but not very often since it would never get eaten up.

MrsMonicaLB said...

I love mac n cheese and me not liking to cook so much will surely give this recipe a try!THANKS for sharing!

Unknown said...

This post has me salivating. Yummy!!!

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