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Comforting Mac & Cheese

Comforting Mac & Cheese

(sorry no pic yet)

16 oz elbow macaroni
5 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
approximately 3 tbsp flour
3 cups warm milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375*
Grease (non-stick spray) baking pan (original recipe says 9×13, but I like it just fine in my 9×11)
In a large pot, cook macaroni per instructions, al dente.

 

Meanwhile, chop your onion.  This is also a good time to go ahead and gather your spices and measure your cheese. Put all that into a separate bowl for quick access.  It’s not necessary, and does involve dirtying another dish, but, sometimes it’s just helpful.
Drain pasta and set aside.
Melt butter in large pan (I just use the same pan I cooked the macaroni in) over medium heat, add in chopped onion cooking until just tender.
Next make a roux by whisking in the flour. You may need more or less. I like to use whole wheat flour, no clumps! But a mix of WW and unbleached works nicely.
Once you have a good roux there, slowly whisk in your warmed milk. (my original recipe said ‘hot’ but, it really doesn’t matter..I just went ahead with ‘warm’ so that I wasn’t cooling things down too much…I was ready to EAT!)
Now you should have a nice looking ‘gravy’. Add in your cheese and spices (feel free to adjust to your taste, my measurements are purely guesstimates), stir just a bit, get that cheese melted. This will only take a minute.
Add in your drained macaroni, stir to coat. Then spread into prepared pan.
The original recipe mentioned putting some bread crumbs on top, but I didn’t have any. Last time though, I thought I’d try some saltine crackers. I just crushed about 6 in my hand and sprinkled them on top.
Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. There ya go!
I think it could handle a little more crunch on top even. The crackers were VERY good. 🙂

Good ole comfort food baby!

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