Friday, May 30, 2014

Foodie Friday: Homemade Mac & Cheese

I'm back!
After a little hiatus and a trip through a wormhole I've returned with some delicious comfort food!

Who doesn't love mac & cheese? There's so many ways you can make it and many different things you can add to it. Sure the easiest way would be straight from the box or the faster microwave cups (add water, microwave, add cheese) but a good homemade meal is hard to beat.
So here it is Homemade Mac & Cheese courtesy of Intentional by Grace (who has some fantastic picture guides) and Creative Christian Mama (with my own twists and changes of course).

  • 1 lb freshly cooked pasta (I used rotini but whatever kind of pasta floats your boat)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour (or 2 Tbsp cornstarch if you're out of flour*)
  • 2 C cold milk (anything from half and half to whole, whatever you prefer)
  • 10 oz of shredded cheese (I used a block of mild cheddar and cut it up very small)
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it starts to foam; then whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the mixture turns golden-brown and smells “cooked”. (The fancy term is making "roux"**)
  2. Whisk in a few ounces of the cold milk, until there are no lumps. Keep adding and whisking until all the milk is added.
  3. Simmer on medium-low, whisking often, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5-10 minutes), then remove from heat.
  4. Add the cheese by handfuls and whisk until each addition is melted. Taste, and add any salt, pepper or seasonings.
  5. Stir the sauce into cooked pasta and add any other additions.
I also added about a cup of shredded Mexican blend from Publix to give it a bit more flavor. It made a lot and came out super cheesy, just how I like it! Along with different flavors of shredded cheese, some other good options would be salsa, hot sauce, bacon, hot dogs, peas, chicken, or even chili. It was a big hit with Lil Man and  Lil Miss who are mac & cheese connoisseurs.

"Mom I'm trying to eat!"
"Sooo good" face

* Cornstarch thickens twice as fast as flour so only use half the amount required (ex: 4 Tbsp flour = 2 Tbsp cornstarch). It also means there will be less in the pan so keep a close eye so it doesn't burn.

** Roux (pronounced "roo") is a thickening agent for soups and sauces with roots dating back more than 300 years in French cuisine. Made by mixing oil and flour.