Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

There are lots of reasons why I will never be stick thin: Cookies. Cheese pizza. Vegetable korma and naan.

And, macaroni and cheese. I don’t have many things I’d consider my “specialty,” but this recipe is the one I get asked about the most and get the most compliments on. It’s also the dish I bring with me most often to church dinners, MOMS Club events, and friends’ houses.

Oh, and I really love macaroni and cheese. I have a whole cookbook of mac-and-cheese recipes; that’s where this one is from.

Today’s Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Macaroni and Cheese by Joan Schwartz

2c milk
4T butter
1/4c flour
2c salsa (I sometimes leave this out – it’s good either way)
3c shredded cheddar
1 1/2t salt
1 pound dried pasta

Cook pasta according to directions, drain.

Warm milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for about 1 minute. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the warmed mix all at once and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the salsa, if using, and remove from heat. Stir in the cheese, stirring until it melts. Taste and season generously with salt. Mix cheese sauce with pasta and spoon into a serving dish.

For a crunchy top: Spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered dish. Top with 1/2c bread crumbs mixed with 1T melted butter. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

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