Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Our Famiy Favourite: Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is definitely a favourite in our house.  Not only is it one of the meals that everyone loves but it's easy ... and cheesy.  You can't go wrong with cheesey goodness.  I make it so often that I no longer need the recipe and I'm apparently not the only one.  I found this recipe waaay back in 1995 in a Milk Calendar that I got in the mail.  Apparently since then this dish has become one of the all-time favourite Milk Calendar recipes.  Glad to see my fellow Canadians have the same love of all things cheesy as the Bookworm Family does. 

And what's not to love?  It's Mac 'n' Cheese.  Comfort food!  My kids love the cheesiness and, of course, the crumb topping. If you don't have lots of time you can omit the topping and serve this dish right from the stove top omitting the baking time.

Over the years I've made some changes in how I prepare this dish.  I prefer it right off the stove-top if I'm not adding the bread crumbs.  If I do opt for bread crumbs (they are a nice addition) instead of putting the casserole into the oven for 20-30 minutes (which can dry out the cheesy sauce a bit) I tend to broil the casserole (watching the whole time) until the bread crumb mixture gets nicely browned.  It takes only a couple of minutes and then this dish is on the table for my kids to inhale.

You may notice that my picture uses curly rotini noodles instead of macaroni.  I like to jazz it up by changing up the noodles (truth be told I probably ran out of macaroni noodles and decided to use what I had on hand instead of just eating the cheesy sauce by itself).  T'was a judgement call and it still tastes awesome!  

You could also try adding a bit of zip by using Jalapeno flavoured cheese or adding some Cajun spice to your bread crumb topping.  I've also replaced the Cheddar cheese with old white Cheddar and it was reaaaallly good!  

This is an easy and very versatile dish that just screams comfort food.  I hope you and yours enjoy this dish as much as we do.

Post Updated: September 21, 2015

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups old cheddar cheese, grated

Crumb Topping
3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard and Worchestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally until cheese has melted.

Drain macaroni and add to cheese mixture. Pour into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish.

To make crumb topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Add bread crumbs, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over macaroni. Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until crumb topping is browned and macaroni is bubbling.

Source: Milk Calendar 1995

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