Bringing the focus theme into the kitchen, the idea of recipes that focus on one or two ingredients became the clear and obvious choice for a weekend dish. Macaroni and cheese are two ingredients when combined create a simply delicious dish. In this backyard sister’s kitchen, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. I don’t mean the boxed variety with the powdered orange cheese sauce but the made from scratch, whip up a cheese sauce and mix with your favorite pasta variety. It was the “go to” dish when I first started playing around in the kitchen with savory dishes. This happened mostly on nights when our parents were going out and we wanted to get creative with a meal. Recently, I turned the dish into an appetizer by putting it in mini muffin tins and baking until crispy.
Macaroni and Cheese
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk (I use non-fat)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pound grated cheese – I use sharp cheddar, but a mixture can be used with cheddar, gruyere, parmesan; as long as the amount equals 4 cups grated.
1 pound elbow macaroni or your favorite small shaped pasta (I have also used penne before)
Preheat oven to 350°
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, when melted add flour and stir to mix. Pour in the milk, add the pepper and cook over med/low heat until thickened. Add the grated cheese and stir until completely incorporated and smooth.
Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix until pasta is completely coated with sauce.
Pour into a greased 9 X 13 pan. Add 1/4 cup of milk to the pan and gently shake from side to side to work milk to the bottom. Bake in preheated oven until top is slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Alternately, if you would like to make the bite-sized version place spoonfuls into a greased mini muffin tin. Use 2 tins or put remaining in a small baking dish. Bake for about 14 minutes or until crispy and browned.
We like to serve with barbecue sauce or ketchup to add a little tang.
Enjoy and cheers,