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Mac N Cheese – Please don’t buy boxed mac!

February 13, 2011

I think that my kids are pretty typical eaters, for the most part.  Yes, they will eat things that some kids won’t, but their fave foods are still pizza, hot dogs, and mac n cheese.  We are a cheesy family…the hubby is a cheese addict who has imparted his addiction onto the rest of us.  As the cook of the family, I am happy to make sure my family gets their cheese fix – in moderation, of course!  So, mac n cheese isn’t made more than once every few weeks…which is plenty.  I don’t typically make my mac from a recipe, I just throw it together.  This time, I decided to actually write down what I put in it so that you can recreate it.  Do NOT buy boxed macaroni and cheese ever again!  I know that this recipe is loaded with cheese, that can be modified to be slightly less bad for you, and it is far better than feeding yourself (or anyone else) a cheese flavored powder mixed with milk.  I’m just sayin’.

  • 1/2 – 1 cup diced brown onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 ounces (1/2 brick) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (thanks, Nate!)
  • 4 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 lb. box of macaroni noodles, cooked al dente, drained

Heat the olive oil in a deep pan (don’t use a nonstick pan – you will ruin it when you get to the whisking) on medium heat.  Toss in your onions and sprinkle with salt.  Saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.

Add the butter and once melted, sprinkle the flour and combine.  Slowly add milk, constantly whisking.  If you don’t take your time, you will have flour clumps.  If that happens, the best solution is to grab a stick blender or dump it all into a regular blender.  It’s not what you want to do but it will save your macaroni and cheese if it’s lumpy.

Once the milk is combined and you are lump free, add in the 1/2 block of cream cheese and stir until combined.  Add the garlic salt, ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a simmer and whisk constantly for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Add the cheddar a handful at a time, stirring to combine.  Turn off heat and stir until the cheese is incorporated.

Mix in your drained pasta and serve.

PREP: 5 minutes   COOK: 20 minutes  SERVINGS: 6-8

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