Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Feel-Good-Food #4

Cheese – milk’s leap toward immortality.  ~Clifton Fadiman

This feel-good-food may just be the most popular comfort food there is.  When I was growing up it didn’t matter whose Sunday dinner table you were at (just a note…in the South, lunch is ‘dinner’…dinner is ‘supper’), it was there.  A staple, a humble food, just like cornbread and pinto beans.  So for a lot of people, it is comforting because it takes us back to childhood, grandma’s house, carefree times. 

Macaroni and Cheese.

Who hasn’t eaten an entire huge bowl of it at some point… to soothe a heartache, ease frustration, or just to provide comfort after a long stressful day.  Come on, you know you’ve done it.

Some people believe macaroni and cheese was created by Thomas Jefferson, who served it in the White House in 1802.  I’m pretty sure my grandma created it :-).  I don’t have her recipe, but I do have a favorite.  And it doesn’t involve orangy-yellow powder from a packet.  

Pure cheesy goodness.  Dreamy, creamy delicious.  The ULTIMATE comfort food.

My Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

·         1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni ( I prefer elbow because it hold lots of cheese)

·         2 tablespoons butter

·         2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

·         1/4 cup milk

·         1 cup half-and-half

·         1/4 teaspoon paprika

·         1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (secret ingredient – put it in everything)  

·         2 1/2 cups sharp cheese, divided (or half cheddar, half Monterey Jack for a little zing)

·         salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk and half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Remove from heat and add paprika, pepper, and 2 cups of the cheese; stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Combine sauce with the macaroni and add salt to taste.

Place in a buttered 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Garnish top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and dot with additional butter.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly.

mmmm, mmmm, good.

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