Monday, March 12, 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Every once in a while, I just crave this very classic dish. This is a family favorite that I have been making for about 35 years. It is just your basic elbow macaroni folded into a white cream sauce with lots of shredded cheddar cheese melted in. Once everything is combined in a casserole dish, a little more shredded cheddar goes over the top before going into a hot oven for 20 minutes. It always comes out creamy and cheesy which is a wonderful combination in my book. I served some oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower as our side.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4-6

2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

While bringing water to the boil for the macaroni, start the sauce by melting butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour and salt and pepper and continuing stirring with a whisk until the mixture is bubbling. Simmer and continue stirring for 1 minute. Gradually add milk (I like to warm the milk in the microwave to speed up the process of making the sauce), and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and continue stirring for one more minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir until melted.

Once the macaroni is cooked and drained, add it to the cheese sauce and mix well. Pour mixture into a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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