Monday, February 15, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese _ 1

This is pretty good macaroni cheese recipe, though I'm still in search of that perfect recipe. We like our macaroni and cheese to be cheesy and creamy, but I'm not a fan of Velveeta {or some other such processed cheese}, which seems to be the best way to get really creamy macaroni and cheese. This recipe really is pretty good, though I don't recommend using the onions and it really should be served right away as that is when it tastes the very best. It is really quite creamy & delicious though the cheese flavor isn't the strongest - but if you want a fairly quick, creamy homemade macaroni and cheese dish, this is it.

Macaroni and Cheese _ 1
Recipe inspiration & some directions/measurements came from Family Dinners by Janet Peterson.

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese {can use another variety if desired}
1 package pasta {I probably used around 9-10 ounces; I just cooked up a bunch of pasta and added until I felt there was a good ratio and used the leftover pasta with spaghetti sauce}
1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion {optional; we used this and didn't really like the flavor it added so we probably won't do it again}
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan {saute your onion at this point if you are going to use it}. Stir in flour, salt and pepper and cook for about 1 minute {it's best if you have all these ingredients measured out and ready - once you put the flour in the cooking goes quickly and you'll want to stir the flour frequently so it doesn't burn}. Add milk; cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened {add up to 1 Tbsp more flour if the milk isn't thickening enough & be sure to stir frequently or the milk will burn on the bottom of the pan}. Add cheese and sour cream stirring until melted. Stir in the pasta. Serve immediately.

Transfer the pasta/sauce mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly. {I recommend using slightly less pasta so there will appear to be excess sauce - if you don't do this your macaroni will end up being kind of dry and it won't be creamy anymore.}

Optional Ingredients:
1 tsp. dry mustard or 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 package {8 oz} cream cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs

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