Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Comfort food

According to the calendar, it's going to be spring on Thursday. Yeah, well tell that to the 4 feet of snow still covering my lawn. And though I'd rather be firing up the barbeuce and grilling chicken, I can't see all of my barbecue at the moment. Just the top of the lid sticking out of a snow bank. We need a few more weeks days of above-zero temps before I can break out the barbecue sauce.

There's freezing rain in the forecast tonight, and snow flurries, which makes it a perfect night to make macaroni and cheese for dinner. Here is the best recipe for comfort food out there:

Marvelous Mac 'n Cheese

Servings: 6

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 and 3/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese*, divided
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or more if you like the sauce a bit spicy (I do))
3/4 tsp salt

*The older the cheese, the better this tastes. Last time I made it, I used a ratio of about 2/3 President's Choice 4-year old cheddar to 1/3 ordinary marble cheddar mixed together to make up the 2 3/4 cups of grated cheese.

Add macaroni to large saucepan of boiling salted water. Stir to prevent sticking; bring back to boil, stirring often. Boil until macaroni is tender but still firm (slightly underdone is better, since it will cook in the sauce in the oven later and you don't want it too limp). Drain in colander; set aside.

Meanwhile, in separate large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in milk in slow steady stream, whisking until sauce is smooth and thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Stir macaroni into cheese sauce; scrape into 3 L glass baking dish. (I used my Corningware dish, the one on the right, below:)

Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in 375°F oven until crisp and golden brown on top and sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

The last time I made this, I cut up a head of broccoli and added the florets to the macaroni during the last 2 minutes of boiling, then mixed the whole thing with the sauce. I love broccoli and cheese sauce, and it isn't like the girls are going to eat any of this (Kraft dinner is the only acceptable mac 'n cheese for them. Philistines.) It was so good that I was actually moaning while eating it.

I'm making this tonight, and while I'm eating it I won't be jealous of those of you already barbecuing and eating outdoors. Well, not much, anyway.


  1. Sounds yummy! I love the crockpot recipe that Paula Dean's website has. So easy and very yummy!

    Don't worry, we're not grilling here either. Though we CAN see all of the grill! KEvin makes it a point to shovel the deck adn clear off the grill after every storm-just in case we WANT to use it. There's a man for ya!

  2. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Ooooh I think I have a new way to carb load...mmmmmmmmmm

  3. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Making this tomorrow night...but adding hamburger to make it Cheeseburger Macaroni :-)

    Tonight, well, tonight I'm grilling burgers...

  4. I can see my deck! I can see my deck! It wasn't there yesterday!!!!

    Mmmm, that DOES look good!

  5. aaahhh...comfort food! I LOVE Mac and Cheese!!

  6. That sounds like the Mac 'n Cheese my Grandma use to make for us. I'm starving just reading the post. Does it travel well? Thru Canada Post? To Hogtown, or just west of there?

  7. welcome home!
    when i was reading this i kept thinking "but do the girls eat it?" and if they did i was going to have to kill you.

  8. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Who would figure I have a husband and kids who don't like pasta? Seems like a very cruel punishment to me. I may have to make them suffer and make it anyways.


  9. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Mmmmmm.... Looks SO good. I think I know what I'm fixing for dinner tomorrow night.