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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

A few years ago, Ron started demanding macaroni and cheese at holiday meals. He claims this was a "family tradition" but for the first three years we were dating, macaroni and cheese was NEVER on the table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or for any other holiday meal. So, I don't know when this tradition started. His mom got confused when he started demanding it. My mom got confused. And I was also confused. But to shut him up, we all just started buying him frozen boxes of Stouffer's macaroni and cheese and made sure it was around for the holiday spread. Yep, that's how much we all care about his random demands.
I've never made my own macaroni and cheese before. Not sure why, but it's just never crossed my mind to make it. But for some reason, I randomly got a craving and decided I wanted to attempt it. This baked macaroni and cheese was appealing to me because it was a "lower fat" version. But I have to admit that I was not 100% happy with this recipe. That's basically because macaroni and cheese can't be "low fat" without missing serious flavor. This dish needed more cheese. It needed a variety of different cheeses! So I will definitely add Parmesan next time and maybe some white cheddar or gruyere. I guess it will no longer be "low fat" but oh well! However you make the recipe and with whatever cheese you use, it was very easy, creamy, and has the potential to be very delicious; just mix it up a bit!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
from The Family Kitchen
  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pinch kosher salt 
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 3 quart casserole dish.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk well for about 1 minute. Then slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously as you do so. Stir in the onion and paprika and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. In a large bowl, add the warm sauce, the cheddar cheese, reserving one cup of the cheese for the topping, and the warm pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour everything into the buttered dish and sprinkle the reserved cheddar on top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

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