So I was talking to some friends about food the other day, and the subject of mac and cheese came up somehow.
Well I opened my mouth and said, “I have a good recipe for mac and cheese.” So a few people wanted it. And then they said, you should put it on your blog. So, here it is.
It’s nothing fancy. And it’s really not good for you. But it is so good! So good that people I work with like the leftovers!
I started with my mother’s recipe. Adapted it with flavors we like. Took out a little of the fat.
The big secret? My kids think that it’s really hard to make. It’s really not. It’s all about the prep. Once you get started with this, you really can’t stop.
We don’t bake it, there’s no time. See, I’m short, so I need a tall person to come help me drain the noodles. When I call for help, it’s like ringing the dinner bell! The kids drain the pasta, then line up like Pavlov’s dogs.
This is a basic recipe. You can add to it, take away from it. We add cubed ham and frozen peas. I add the peas to the colander and drain the pasta over them to thaw them. I toss the ham cubes into the cheese sauce. It’d be great with some green chiles, or chopped bacon.
Please let me know if you try it.
½ onion finely diced
2 tablespoons margarine, or 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon bacon fat
2 tablespoons AP flour
2 cups milk
1 box low sodium chicken broth
½ pound box Velveeta, cubed, or in chunks about the same size
1 cup shredded cheddar, colby jack, or Mexican blend cheese
¼ to ½ cup parmesan
1-2 pounds macaroni elbows
This recipe is all about the prep, as once you get started, you really cannot stop. So have all your stuff ready.
Start by filling a pot with water and putting it to boil, have the noodles ready, and once it boils, put the noodles in, adding some salt.
Heat a deep sauce pan, and melt your fat, saute your onions until fragrant and soft.
Sprinkle the flour over this, and whisk it well for 3 or 4 minutes. This is your roux, you need to cook the flour a little but not make this dark at all.
Now add the milk, slowly, whisking the whole time, making sure to break up any lumps of flour you find. Once it starts to bubble it will thicken quickly. Switch to a spoon now. Add some chicken broth, maybe a half cup at a time, you want this thick like a gravy, not like concrete. Let it bubble and thicken for a few minutes. You’ll need to stir almost constantly so it doesn’t stick and burn.
Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Now add the Velveeta a little at a time stirring to get it melted, once all that is in, add the cheddar the same way. Then dump in the parm and stir until it’s all creamy.
Turn the heat way down, stirring regularly if the noodles aren’t done.
Drain the noodles and add to the cheese sauce. If it’s too thick, add some chicken broth.
At this point it’s ready to eat, or you can bake it in a 350 degree oven with some buttered bread crumbs on top until golden brown.