Monday, March 29, 2010

Homemade Mac N Cheese

I know I posted a similar recipe before, with 3 cheeses and mild green chilies.  That one was good, and this one is too, just different.  More traditional, and a bit easier.  Jeff loved it and I think it will be a repeat recipe in the future.    If you want a fun idea for the leftovers, you can take a leaf from Alton Brown's book and dredge chilled pieces in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fry it for a change (though not the healthiest idea, sounds good to me!).

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb whole wheat pasta (I used rotini, but elbow macaroni or penne would work too)
3 tbsp butter
2 heaping tbsp flour
1 can evaporated milk
1 c shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, split in half
2 tsp cajun seasoning
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 c breadcrumbs

Cook pasta to pkg directions, just under al dente--still kind of chewy, because it will continue to cook in the oven.  While waiting for pasta to cook, make sauce.  Melt butter in small saucepan, then add flour and whisk together.    Add evaporated milk, and stir til smooth and thickened.  Add half the cheese, and whisk well til combined and smooth.  Add spices, stir to combine.   Drain pasta, add sauce and stir to coat.   Pour into 13x9 baking dish, top with the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees til cheese is melted and top is browned.

**Note** As I said, you can deep fry the squares the next day, after you refrigerate it overnight in the pan.  You can also add more cayenne if you like it spicy.  I found that if you use sharp cheddar, then you don't need as much and it gives you that strong cheddar flavor.  Also, you could also use regular milk, but evaporated milk is thicker because a lot of the water has been evaporated out of it, so you can get the smooth thickness without the fat of cream.  So even though you're using butter and cheese, it's not as bad as it could be.

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