Everyone has a ‘go to’ comfort food, and mac-n-cheese is definitely one that we both love. When accompanied by a chunk of Malcolm’s jalapeno cornbread, it will provide more than enough comfort for a trampled spirit. But, trust me, you will not want to wait until you have a bad day to try this one.
We are huge fans of cheese and will eat almost any kind short of the stuff that comes from a can. We used cheddar and Parmesan for this recipe. Combine your favorite cheese along with a few of our suggested ingredients to create your own grownup version of this standard kid dish.
The key to making a good cheese sauce is to first choose cheeses that melt reasonably well. If you are not sure which ones to choose, a quick internet search will provide all the information you need about cheese. Of course, you can safeguard the end result by using a processed cheese like Velveeta which melts well, but why not go for flavor instead. Cheeses like Gouda, Gruyere and Havarti left at room temperature, grated and then melted into a roux will work well for a cheese sauce. I am sure some of your favorites will also.
Cook 8 ounces of macaroni (we used shells) al dente – set aside
In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter and add 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour. Stir with a fork until smooth. Add 3 cups milk to the roux and heat over medium high temperature for about 3 minutes (stirring constantly), add the cheeses. Stir until just melted. We added 2 cups of grated cheddar and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. As a rule, you will want to use 3 cups milk to every 2 1/2 cups cheese.
Add the macaroni to a large bowl and pour the cheese sauce over. Mix well.
Next comes the fun part: Add 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of ingredients of your choice to the mixture. The recipe above includes 1 cup of bacon that I made crisp in the microwave and crumbled. We also like chicken chunks (usually left over from another meal), lobster bits, and ham. The lobster combines well with Gouda or Gruyere and the ham works well with almost any type of cheese.
Add some veggies: Dice carrots, celery, green peppers, red peppers and red onion into small pieces and saute in a splash of oil before adding to the mac-n-cheese. Veggies should be slightly tender, not cooked through. Add uncooked veggies such as a seeded jalapeno finely diced or a handful of grape tomatoes cut in half.
Before you bake: Melt a Tablespoon of butter in a small skillet and add 1/2 cup bread crumbs or Panko. Stir over medium/high heat until slightly brown. Add the mac-n-cheese to a baking dish or oven proof skillet and sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Makes 4 generous servings.
Travel snapshots from Toonsarah
Tales, Thoughts + Tribulations of a Free Spirit in Suburbia
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty
Our Next Chapter
I'm nothing if not resilient
Promoting Hobby Blogging
Keeping Life Simple, Authentic And Holistic
The Joy of Slow Travel
Adventures and Postcards from the road
Come along on an adventure with us!
Mainly through the lens of a Nikon
The Beach Girl Chronicles
envisioning & implementing life's next stage
Read this, not that!
Lifestyle, Photography and Traditional Art
Giving and Receiving Blessings
...but change is certain.
Midlife without the crisis
Love life! Sharing and caring!
capturing memories one moment at a time
Navigating retirement as an introvert
Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald
People, Places, Nature, LIFE!
A Canadian Perspective on Living in the Windy City!
Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life
Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block
Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser
Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures
Encouraging women in their fifties to live in a meaningful way
Suzanne's Life and Travel Musings from New Zealand and Beyond
A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!
Serenity is an Inside Job
A Midlife Journey
Food and More
Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.
"This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - F.G.
Taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life
Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey
Grateful for the present moment
Building a community of Women Living Well and embracing life after 50
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16
Travel - home and away and Chronic Illness's
Living in Retirement
Retired and Enjoying Life From the Slow Lane
A blog about midlife, travel, adventure - and all things in between
Creative, non-monetary forms of payment
Photographs from my world.