Thursday, March 19, 2009

Homemade Mac & Cheese!

It has been said that you are either a baker or a cook. Baking requires sticking to a recipe and precise measurements to get a perfect product. Cooking is much less rigid. You can add more of this or make substitutions or just use a recipe as a base for your own creation!

Honestly, I'm not sure which category describes me best...I'm both. I love baking and have no problem sticking to a recipe when I know it's required. However, I LOVE to experiment and adjust recipes to our own family's tastes and needs.

That being said, here's our (sorta) recipe for tonight's dinner. Homemade mac & cheese!! YUMMY! Nothing like it! Since I'm a cook...I really don't have a recipe! A friend asked for it, so this is as close as I could think of as to what I do. :-) If I have fresh onions on hand, I finely dice one as a substitution to the dried (actually, I love to GRATE my onion)!

And, I often double the recipe... and, well, I often do a lot of different things! :-) Here's the base:

Steph's Mac & Cheese

¼ c. flour
1 tbsp. dried minced onion
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ c. margarine
¼ tsp. worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. mustard
¾ to 1 c. chicken stock
1 c. milk
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (the sharper the better!)
½ box elbow macaroni

Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, onion, salt and pepper. In a saucepan (I use the same pan I cooked the noodles in…saves dishes!!) over low/medium heat, combine margarine, worcestershire sauce, and mustard until margarine is fully melted and lightly bubbling. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Cook about a minute or until mixture begins to bubble. Slowly add chicken stock and milk, whisking to combine flour mixture. Increase heat and whisk continually until mixture begins to boil/thicken. Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Add cheese gradually, stirring to melt. Once all cheese is melted, add cooked macaroni to cheese sauce and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly.

Recommend: YES

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Jamie and Emily said...

Yummy! This is another food that reminds me of you... since my mom never made the homeade kind, you were the one who taught me how to make it when we were kids...except I think I remember you using American I use cheddar, and yes I agree, the sharper the better! =)

Stephanie said...

We DID use American cheese...but, it was a different mac & cheese recipe. I DO like that one, too, but haven't made it in a long time. It was a recipe from Cindy when we were all camping once. She'd found it and liked it because she always had cheese slices on hand, and didn't always have blocks of cheddar! Which is exactly why our fam made it more often. Didn't always have the cheddar on hand.

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