Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

It's a gloomy fall day today - dreary and rainy and gray and wet. The kind of day that just screams Comfort Food. So I decided I was going to make Macaroni and Cheese for supper tonight.

I've never been a fan of the boxed, electric yellow stuff. I don't know if it's because my sisters would eat it all the time while growing up (that and potato buds, you know, dehydrated potato flakes? Barf.) but I just couldn't stand it.

Then, the hub and I went to NYC a few years ago with some friends, and went to a bar where one of our friends ordered some mac and cheese as an appetizer. I had a bite and have been in love ever since.

I searched around a little on the internets, but finally found (and slightly modified) a recipe that comes pretty darn close to what we had in NYC.

The Cast Of Characters:
10oz elbow macaroni (or shape of choice)
1/4 c butter
3 T flour
2 c milk
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t garlic salt
1 T dijon mustard
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c shredded pepper or monterey jack cheese
1 pkg cooked, diced ham (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring pot of slightly salted water to boil.



Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, until al dente, drain.



In a saucepan (I use a stock pot) melt the butter over medium heat.



Stir in the 3 T of flour



Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly, stirring occasionally.



Mix in milk,



cream cheese, sour cream



salt, pepper, and mustard (the mustard is what gives it the yummy, slightly spicy flavor).



Mix well and continue cooking until sauce is thickened.



Now, because we have to have some sort of protein (preferably in meat form) at every meal, I like to add some cooked, diced ham. You can leave it out, too, it's just as tasty.



Add the pasta to the cheese sauce.



And then add the shredded cheeses.



Mmmm..... cheese........



Mix well



and add the diced ham.



Make sure they're all combined happily into one big cheesy, pasta-y, meaty mess.



And then pour into a 2 qt casserole dish. This is Corningware I received as a wedding present 6 years ago, and think I've been able to use exactly twice. Scratch that, make that three times now. Woo hoo!



Sprinkle some Panko bread crumbs (about 1/4-1/2 c, just enough to barely cover the top) and parsley (optional) on top. I just discovered Panko bread crumbs. How did I not know there was such goodness on this earth?





Pop it into the 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is nice and brown and the sides are bubbly. My oven runs hot, so I put it in for 16ish minutes. Perfect!



Pair it with your favorite side (yes, those are brussels sprouts) and you're good to go!

This is probably the only mac and cheese I'll ever eat.

Here's the recipe again.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

10oz elbow macaroni (or shape of choice)
1/4 c butter
3 T flour
2 c milk
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t garlic salt
1 T dijon mustard
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c shredded pepper or monterey jack cheese
1 pkg cooked, diced ham (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, until al dente, drain. In a saucepan (I use a stock pot) over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Mix in milk, cream cheese, sour cream, salt(s), pepper, and mustard. Stir well and continue cooking until sauce is thickened. Add cooked pasta and shredded cheeses (and ham if so desired). Mix well and pour into 2qt casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 c bread crumbs and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and heated through.

1 comment:

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

I am going to try this. I have made home made mac and cheese for over 4 years now and need a different recipe. Can't wait to try this!