Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Favorite

Since I tend to eat my feelings, it's logical that I would love comfort food, which I do. Mac and Cheese is one of my all time favorite foods. I make several versions (some adapted from Rachael Ray recipies because her mac and cheese recipies are always so quick and easy) but I figured that I would first post my basic version.

1 box of short cut pasta
2 - 3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 can of evaporated milk (either skim or regular)
1/2 pint of heavy cream (or another can of evaporated milk)
1/4 to 1/2 cup skim milk (if sauce is too thick)
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese (or any other kind)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of either Mrs. Dash or Emeril's Essence
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Fill stock pot or large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil Add butter to a dutch oven and melt over medium low heat. Add flour and cook for a few minutes. Add milk/cream (if using evaporated skim milk be sure to reduce the heat to low or else the milk will do this weird flaky thing) stirring constantly.

When the water comes to a boil add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the water and reduce heat to cook the pasta (at this point the pasta should be finished by the time the sauce is finished). While the pasta cooks add the mustard, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper to the sauce which should beginning to thicken. Add the cheese a little bit at a time stirring constantly.

Once all of the cheese has been added continue to watch the sauce stirring occasionally until the pasta is finished cooking. At this point you can also make a bread crumb topping to top the mac and cheese. To make the bread crumb topping melt the butter and add the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Mix this with your fingers.

Drain the pasta and add to the cheese sauce. Remove from heat and add bread crumb topping. Bake at 350 until the topping is golden brown (usually about 15 min).


P.S. I really want one of those ShamWows they advertise on tv..

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