Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy Cheesy

I switched over from making Annie's Macaroni and Cheese from the box to making homemade baked macaroni and cheese a couple of years ago--because it just tastes better, wastes less packaging and is possibly less expensive (I haven't actually done the math). It took making it a few rounds before the kids would actually eat it (the bread crumbs on the bottom were particularly offensive), but now M eats it every time, though E and Z sometimes moan that they want "macaroni like so-and-so makes it" (a.k.a. Kraft). I usually use either the Apples for Jam recipe or the Better Homes and Gardens one, depending on my mood, and I started using brown rice macaroni because my kids would get crabby about the whole wheat macaroni (though they're fine with whole wheat spaghetti--go figure) and I figured brown rice must be more nutritious than white flour. I prefer the brown rice elbows to the spirals, which cook unevenly and end up mushy/falling apart on the outside and tough on the inside.

There are still times, however, when I want to make mac & cheese for lunch and don't want to spend an hour making bechamel sauce and baking the damn casserole, so I devised this method, which is almost as fast as the boxed kind, but is deliciously cheesy good. I never measure anything when I make it, so the measurements are vague, and in some cases made up...but I think it would be difficult to mess this up...give it a try:

Cook a couple of handfuls of macaroni in the usual way (I always get this part wrong and end up with either too much or too little)

Drain in a colander and return the pan to the burner, over low heat.

Melt a blop of butter.

Stir in a heaping spoonful of flour until it soaks up all the butter.

Add a few splashes of milk.

Stir till thick and bubbly.

Stir in a couple handfuls of grated cheese until melted.

Remove from heat.

Return macaroni to pot; stir to coat; eat and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm, that looks yummy! I've been doing the Annie's too, but once in a while bust out the bechamel sauce / casserole dish business which always seems way more time consuming than mac and cheese should be. Will try this for sure!


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