macaroni & cheese

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It snowed today. Not full on snow, more slushy than fluffy, but it's still snow. I'm kind of a snow hater. I dread when it comes and thankfully where I live it's not very often.

I know it might seem scrooge like, but I am absolutely terrified to drive in it.  I'm the person on the highway driving 50 in a 100 zone because she is deathly afraid of skidding out of control. I also can't stop concentrating on the snow flakes falling towards me while I'm driving. Not the safest thing, I feel like a bird mesmerized by shiny things.  It just looks so pretty when it's falling I can't help looking at it.  Also, hate being cold.  And yes, I do know I live in Canada. ha ha.

So of course like most people around this time of year, you want something comforting to warm you up, maybe to invoke childhood memories of the first snowfall of the year. Me, I just wanted some carbs and cheese. Okay, okay maybe I did want some comfort food and honestly what is better than macaroni and cheese? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

I am kind of a food snob in the sense that macaroni and cheese must be homemade. At all times. Maybe I was spoiled as a child with a mum that would only make homemade mac & cheese. She says that my sister and I would turn down KD and ask for the homemade stuff. Good job younger self. But seriously, why make something from a box with day-glow orange cheese powder when you can make the homemade stuff just as easily? Don't know how? Well that's why I'm here.

Macaroni & cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups warmed milk
2 cups grated cheese, blend of cheddar and mozzarella, divided
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1 1/2 cups dry macaroni

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In medium size saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add macaroni to pot once water has boiled and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Once butter has melted, add flour stir occasionally and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add milk and cook until sauce becomes thickened, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of cheese and salt and pepper, turn down to low and continue stirring until cheese has melted.

Add cooked noodles to cheese sauce and stir to coat noodles evenly. You could eat the macaroni at this point, which what my sister like to do, but I take it a step further. It's worth it. But should you stop at this point, you may add all of the cheese to the sauce instead of the half.

Pour noodles and sauce into a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until a golden brown crust has formed, about 25-30 minutes.  Makes great leftovers and easily can be doubled should you want to make 2 casseroles and place one in the freezer. If you do freeze one, please defrost it completely before baking.