This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.


Mmmmmac and Cheese

Last night I made Mac and Cheese (technically not accurate because I used Penne, not Macaroni noodles, so it would be Penne and Cheese, but you get the picture) from scratch! I know it isn't fancy, and it isn't hard to do, but it is just something I have never done. Of course when I told Hubby I had made it from scratch his response was "Did you make the noodles too?" Um. No. Thanks for bursting my bubble, but I still love you. Technically I didn't MAKE the cheese either. So maybe from scratch is the wrong term. But it didn't come out of a blue box or a big orange box (Mmmm the kind in the orange box is my favorite...or WAS my favorite until I made my OWN!)

Anyway! It is super easy and yummy and if you can find a block of cheese on sale like I did it is SUPER CHEAP! This recipe makes 8 servings. We had enough for all of us (Two adults, two kids and a baby) to eat it for dinner last night, lunch today, and there is still enough left for me to hide in the fridge and have for lunch tomorrow when no one is looking!

So first here is the picture:

Okay, not the BEST picture. I am obviously NOT a food photographer. Gotta work on that if I am going to post more recipes with pictures. But just know that it was YUMMY!

So lets pretend that my picture looked like this picture from Eating Etc:

Or even better, this one from the District Domestic:

PS If you follow the links you will find their yummy recipes that I am going to have to try next!

But as for mine it is the basic! But what I am learning, is it is really fun to have the basic recipe for things so that you can tweak them yourself! What I have started doing is finding three recipes for everything new I want to try. Then I figure out what are the common ingredients and instructions in all of them and from that I usually can determine the basic recipe and go from there.

Mac and Cheese

You will need:
16 oz of cheese (this is where you can tweak. I used a sharp cheddar. One friend who gave me her recipe uses 12 oz of Gruyere)

1lb Penne (again pretty much any pasta will work. I like Penne because the cheese mixture gets into the inside of the noodle! YUM!

4 cups milk (I used whole. Fattening I know, but we are making mac and cheese here! You can substitute 2%, 1% or Skim, it just won't be as creamy and thick)

3 T of Butter (you can use any fat)
6T of Flour (this can vary from 3-6T so you don't have to measure exactly)
Salt and Pepper to taste (you can also throw paprika or mustard in the recipe...heck you can throw all sorts of things in to taste!)

This is what you do with all that stuff:

Boil the noodles until tender (do not over cook).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9x13 dish.

Boil milk in a large saucepan. This has to be large enough for the milk, cheese AND noodles to all nicely fit inside. You could do the mixing in the baking dish, but that is just messy!

Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Add flour and whisk (this is called making a roux in case you didn't take home economics or have a grandmother that taught you to make biscuits and gravy.) Cook this for a few minutes (do not let it brown) until it is a nice pasty mixture without any lumps.

Add the roux to the hot milk and whisk. This is when you can add the salt, pepper and any other seasoning or spice you feel the need to try. Keep whisking over low heat until the mixture thickens. It takes about 5 minutes. But you HAVE to keep whisking or your milk will burn and then you have to start over!

Once the milk has thickened, add about 2/3 of the cheese to the milk mixture and stir. Then add the cooked noodles to the pot and coat them.

Poor the noodles and cheese into your buttered baking dish. Then top with the rest of the grated cheese. (you can add more salt/pepper/etc if you like)

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Then place dish under the broiler (about 4 inches from the heat) until the top is nice and golden and crispy. Unless you don't like the crispy part of your mac and cheese and then skip this step!

And then enjoy. And try to share!


Anonymous said...

I was just headed off to bed, but saw your comment on my blog (thanks for the visit and comment btw). So, I hopped over here and now I'm soooooo hungry (heh-heh). Seriously, love your blog and will have to come back when I have a little more time to take in all of the goodness here!


Live.Love.Eat said...

No, those pictures are VERY good!!!!! The deliciousness comes right out at me!!!