Deliciously Baked Mac & Cheese

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There are times when nothing sounds better than indulging in good old fashioned comfort food; something warm & gooey (odds are fattening and therefor delicious).  Since we closed out the month of January with super foods, healthy choices and awareness of smarter eating options, we thought we deserved one day of decadence. We bring you a way to pat yourself on the back – delightfully rich macaroni and cheese.  Warm up the stove, throw some good cheese together with soft elbow pasta and thank us later for the inspiration. And feel free to invite us over for the leftovers!

This is such a comforting meal and a real crowd pleaser! You can never go wrong with this dish. You can make this and keep for several days in the fridge, which is nice when you start craving it days later!  Also the possibilities are endless when it comes to experimenting with various cheeses to use. I love to try new ones that can add a different dimension to the flavor! – Amy

A look into the process… 

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Here is the recipe… 

INGREDIENTS

2 quarts water

2 tsp salt (for water)

2 cups elbow macaroni

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 cups grated gruyere cheese

1/4 cup chopped sweet pepper (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put water in a large sauce pot, add salt and bring to boil. Add macaronis all at once and stir. Return water to a boil and then simmer until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter and then remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard. When mixture is smooth, gradually add milk, stirring until there are no lumps of flour remaining. Return saucepan to heat and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to boil and thickens slightly. Add green pepper, if desired, and simmer for a minute longer.

Stir 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese with the drained macaroni and milk & flour mixture and place in baking dish.  Pour extra shredded cheese on top.

Place dish in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!

 

VARIATIONS

Use shells instead of elbow pasta.

Add breadcrumbs with rosemary to the top for extra texture.