CLASSIC MACS AND CHEESE RECIPE

My brother-in-law and his family were moving back into their old house.  They had moved out six months ago and embarked on extensive renovations.    Today was moving day and  I wanted to ease the pain by delivering supper.  Something that would transport well,  that two over-six-foot tall teenagers would really enjoy,  and be delicious as left overs.  The menu; macs and cheese, a big salad of greens fresh from my garden,  for dessert rhubarb crisp.

Macaroni and Cheese is my family’s number one comfort food  choice.  Not  macs and cheese out of a box,  but honest-to-goodness straight from the heart macs and cheese made with a classic white sauce,  plenty of  good cheddar cheese, and  baked in the oven.  Sublime.  This is a large recipe.  I bake enough for supper.  The rest I put into oven-proof dishes, wrap well and freeze.  It’s a time-saver to have these prepared dishes on hand.

MACARONI AND CHEESE

1 pound  of  penne or tubular macaroni

4 oz. (8 generous tablespoons) butter

3/4 generous cup of flour

4 cups hot milk

Around 4 cups (8-9 oz) of shredded cheddar cheese (save a little to sprinkle on top)

1 large onion chopped

6-8 garlic cloves chopped

salt, freshly ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Some good dashes of Worcestershire sauce

A few dashes of hot sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

coarse bread crumbs or panko for the topping

Now let’s make REAL macs and cheese:

Cook  your pasta until just tender.  Leave a little water in the bottom of the pan. This will stop your pasta from sticking together.  Set it aside.

Saute your onions and garlic with a little salt and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, until tender and translucent.  Set aside.

Make your white sauce. In a large saucepan, over medium heat,  melt your butter, add your flour and whisk to blend and cook the flour.  Add your milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens .  It shouldn’t be too thick (you have yet to add your cheese etc.).  If you feel it is on the thin side shake a little more flour over the mixture and continue whisking.  When your sauce is ready add the chopped onion mixture and the grated cheese and stir well.

If there is any water left in your pasta pot drain this off.  Now add your cheese sauce and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.  Be sure to taste your sauce.  Put into greased oven-proof dishes, sprinkle with panko or bread crumbs and some cheese.

To prepare for your freezer wrap well in a couple of layers  of plastic wrap, label and freeze.   Remove from the freezer and let thaw a little before baking.  Oh yes, don’t forget to remove the wrap.

Bake in a 350°F oven until the mixture starts to bubble and the top gets crispy and brown.  Enjoy!!

CLASSIC MACS AND CHEESE RECIPE
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Not macs and cheese out of a box, but honest-to-goodness straight from the heart macs and cheese made with a classic white sauce, plenty of good cheddar cheese, and baked in the oven
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of penne or tubular macaroni
  • 4 oz. (8 generous tablespoons) butter
  • ¾ generous cup of flour
  • 4 cups hot milk
  • Around 4 cups (8-9 oz) of shredded cheddar cheese (save a little to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves chopped
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Some good dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • coarse bread crumbs or panko for the topping
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta until just tender. Leave a little water in the bottom of the pan. This will stop your pasta from sticking together. Set it aside.
  2. Saute your onions and garlic with a little salt and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, until tender and translucent. Set aside.
  3. Make your white sauce. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt your butter, add your flour and whisk to blend and cook the flour. Add your milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens . It shouldn't be too thick (you have yet to add your cheese etc.). If you feel it is on the thin side shake a little more flour over the mixture and continue whisking. When your sauce is ready add the chopped onion mixture and the grated cheese and stir well.
  4. If there is any water left in your pasta pot drain this off. Now add your cheese sauce and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Be sure to taste your sauce. Put into greased oven-proof dishes, sprinkle with panko or bread crumbs and some cheese.
  5. To prepare for your freezer wrap well in a couple of layers of plastic wrap, label and freeze. Remove from the freezer and let thaw a little before baking. Oh yes, don't forget to remove the wrap.
  6. Bake in a 350°F oven until the mixture starts to bubble and the top gets crispy and brown. Enjoy!!
Notes
Macaroni and Cheese is my family's number one comfort food choice. Not macs and cheese out of a box, but honest-to-goodness straight from the heart macs and cheese made with a classic white sauce, plenty of good cheddar cheese, and baked in the oven. Sublime. This is a large recipe.

 

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