Friday, July 13, 2007

Macaroni & Cheese

3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. ground dry mustard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. elbow macaroni

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish and st aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Melt the butter over low heat in a large, deep skillet. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook over moderatley low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk.

Return the skillet to the stove; bring to a boil over moderate heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes while whisking. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until it blends with the sauce.

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender about 7 minutes. Drain and combine with cheese sauce.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Serves 6

Tips: Pushing several half-slices of cheddar cheese into the macaroni just before you put the dish into the oven is fabulous. Add 10-15 minutes to the baking time if you make it ahead of time and refrigerate. Before taking it out of the oven, insert a clean table knife into a couple of places and feel the tip to determine if the macaroni is uniformly hot.

Notes: Reheats beautifully, and is another recipe that is perfect for the wintertime when you want something thick and hearty.

In the book it says that this is the recipe that "Thomas Jefferson served to Messrs. Lewis and Cutler, who had never tasted anything so delicious. They wrote letters to each other, speculating about the ingredients and how the dish was prepared. They referred to it the same why Jefferson did, and of course, used the spelling of that era: "maccaroni and cheese pudding." "

Source: The Potluck Cookbook: Classic Recipes for Any Occasions.

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