They say, to the victors, go the spoils. We had a small victory in our house yesterday. Our oldest son came in third place in a local piano competition. This child gets up at 5:30 AM, four days a week so he can practice piano before school. That must be some sort of teenager miracle. So with the little trophy and all the hard work, it only seemed natural that he should be able to choose what we had for dinner and his choice was Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Whenever I ask him what he wants for dinner, he either responds with Mac and Cheese or Fettucini Alfredo. He does love his pasta.
My Mac and Cheese certainly does not have any thrilling secret ingredients. It’s quite fast to make. In fact, you can have it prepared in just a few minutes longer than it takes to make the boxed stuff. Be creative with the cheese to suit your taste. While I haven’t made this with low fat cheese, it would probably work just fine. You may need to add extra flour to keep the cheese sauce the proper consistency.
Homemade Mac and Cheese
1 pound prepared pasta
4 tbsp butter
half an onion, chopped
4 tbsp flour
2 cups of milk, slightly warmed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Start boiling the water for the noodles in a large pot.
2. Melt the butter on medium heat in a pan that will be large enough to hold all the sauce ingredients.
3. Add the chopped onion and saute until slightly translucent.
4. Check your water. If it’s boiling, add the noodles.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onion and let it sit for a bit so the flour absorbs some of the butter.
6. Add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring gently so you don’t make a mess and to dissolve the flour.
7. Lower the heat to medium low and allow to thicken. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan and burn.
8. Add your cheese and stir until it’s all melty and smooth. I used a combination of sharp and mild cheddar. You could use sharp cheddar and something zingy like gorgonzola. So many choices!
9. Your noodles should be done by now. Drain them well, put them back in the pot and add the sauce stirring through until all the noodles are thoroughly covered with sauce.
You can serve your Mac and Cheese immediately, or you can transfer it to a prepared baking dish and bake it for 20-25 minutes. I usually serve it right away. I have also baked it after stirring in two beaten eggs and a tsp of sugar. This makes a slightly custardy dish that is very tasty!
As you can see from the picture, I didn’t use elbow macaroni. I used a different noodle. I have no idea what it was but it was shaped a little like a scoop with a curly end so it really gripped the sauce.
Since I am trying to limit my carb intake, my bowl of Mac and Cheese started with some roasted cauliflower with about 1/3 cup of Mac and Cheese. It was delicious. Let me know how you make your Mac and Cheese! Enjoy!