Friday, March 18, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My baked macaroni and cheese is known throughout both families and loved. I usually will leave out the tomatoes since not everyone likes them but I like to add them for Chris and I, or add them anyway and people that don't like them can pick them out, up to you. Today I will be making a half recipe because it is just the two of us. I always add onion and garlic powder to mine (maybe 1/2 to 1 tsp., each), to taste. Make sure you are tasting your sauce because you need to make sure the seasoning is right. I use skim milk and 2% cheese but rest assured, this is caloric, LOL! I also add about 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Here is the recipe that I use. Make the whole recipe for family get-togethers and watch it disappear.

So here is that recipe written out for you, the way that I make it.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes
1/2 pound of elbow macaroni or shell macaroni
1& 1/2 cups milk (I use skim, but use your favorite)
1/8 pound of butter or 1/2 stick or 4 tbsp. (you can use tub margarine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. or to taste garlic powder
1/2 tsp. or to taste onion powder
2 tbsp. cornstarch
12 ounces 2% sharp or mild cheddar cheese, divided use
1/4-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part skim Mozzarella cheese (if you have it, I didn't)
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Set aside some cheddar cheese for top of casserole.

Cook your macaroni in large soup pot according to package directions, drain, cool with cold water. Set aside.

In the same pot, over medium heat, melt your butter along with your 1 cup of milk, salt and pepper.

Mix the remaining 1/2 cup milk with the cornstarch, mix until dissolved and set aside.

Slowly add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

When your mixture has thickened, pull off heat and add your cheeses.

Add the onion and garlic powder, please make sure to taste to make sure the flavor is the way you want it.

When your cheese is melted add your tomatoes, if using.

Add macaroni and mix until well coated with sauce.

Pour into casserole (usually an 8x8) and top with remaining cheese.

Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Here is a bonus picture of my cat, Durn sleeping in the sun.