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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Make Your Own: Mac N Cheese

This is a re-post because the recipe is pure awesomeness.
 Over the weekend, I made two huge casseroles full of this cheesy goodness and froze a bunch of it. One batch has peas, and one has broccoli. I skipped the bread crumbs, too.

This is one of the best/easiest Mac 'N Cheese recipes I've ever tried. Okay fine, it's the second. Ever.  Once I made it though, I had no reason to continue my search. I found it last year when I was pregnant and for the life of me I cannot figure out where I got it if you know please email me so I can give credit! 

This freezes beautifully and makes a wonderful meal for a friend in need of meals. I made two this weekend- one for a family member who just had a baby. I omitted the ham and instead took a pack of hot dogs and buns.  The other was for elderly family friends who have been ill. 

When I make this for my family, I always add peas to up the nutritional value. Baby A LOVES yummy combo and eats it as a finger food.  I have made it with cheddar cheese (the hubby's favorite) and with a 5-cheese italian blend.

Smac 'n Cheese w/ ham

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
1/2 pound macaroni, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large, ripe tomato, sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375° F.
To make cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, add 1/2 cup cheese and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork. Top with sliced tomato and ham; sprinkle the remaining grated cheese evenly over the tomatoes and spread the crumbs over the cheese.
Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Use a different kind of cheese.

Add peas.

Add chicken instead of ham.

Add ground turkey/beef instead of ham.

Any other ideas? This is great for the old and young.  Nom nom nom!

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