Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Macaroni and CheeseMy house is on the market, so I am trying to use up everything in my pantry before I have to pack.  I didn’t want to mess up the kitchen in case a realtor happened to drop by, so I considered going to Costco for one of my favorite lunches–the free samples.  That is usually a well-rounded meal, with dessert and a beverage, right?  But, I didn’t feel like going out if I didn’t have to.  So, I got my little brain cells working on what to make that is quick and easy.  I knew I had cheese and milk in the fridge.  So my mind immediately went to Mac and Cheese.  Do I have elbow macaroni?  I found that I didn’t, but I did find a half box of medium pasta shells.  That’ll work.  It’s a Sunday afternoon, so I can take the rest to work tomorrow to share with a hungry coworker.

Mac and Cheese is comfort food at it’s best!  And so simple!  I had this in my mouth in 30 minutes! Although my favorite cheese for this dish is sharp cheddar, you can use practically anything you have on hand.  I happened to have a combo of cheddar and jack, and it was delish!  For added flavor, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I love my Mac and Cheese with a broiled cheesy top crust–almost burnt to the point that a roasted marshmallow gets.  Mmmm–mmm good!

cheese sauce

 

See how that golden cheesy goodness just pours into each and every crevice in the pasta!

Macaroni and Cheese

This is great as an individual portion…

Mac and Cheese

Or as a casserole.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni, cooked
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime, Microwave milk at HIGH for 1-1/2 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven broiler or turn oven on to 450 degrees.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and the flour is cooked through, about 1 minute.
  5. To the butter and flour mixture, gradually whisk in warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Whisk in salt, black pepper, 2 cups shredded cheese and, if desired, cayenne pepper, stirring until smooth and cheese is melted.
  7. Stir in cooked and drained pasta. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining cheese. Bake under the broiler for 2-3 minutes (watch closely)

Et cetera:  I never have to make that powdery boxed Mac and Cheese if I have these ingredients on hand.  The grandkids like this way better, and it’s just as quick to make.

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