This past Sunday, we cooked up another ham from our Christmas-sale freezer stash. Hams are great when you’re penny pinchin’. They often feed a crowd then keep on giving with leftovers. We shared our ham dinner with a lovely couple from church, then enjoyed some ham sandwiches for lunch the following day, and there was still lots, so I decided to fry some up for supper. But what to have on the side? I didn’t waste a minute thinking…Mac ’n’ cheese. It’s likely because I was thinking of my dad when I made baked beans a couple of weeks ago. He made a good macaroni and cheese, as well. I’ve mentioned my dairy free girl’s penchant for comfort food. Unfortunately for her, this includes mac ’n’ cheese. I offered to make her some plain noodles, but she weighed the cost to her tummy and the macaroni and cheese won out.
Now I know you don’t think of my dad when you think of macaroni and cheese, but perhaps, if you’re an Adventures in Odyssey fan, you break out in a rousing rendition of Wooton’s “Ode to Macaroni and Cheese”. Here ya go. You can thank me later.
Easy Mac ’n’ Cheese
Please be aware that this is a small recipe. I used half of a one pound package because that’s all I had…it really only serves four. If you want leftovers or want it as the main part of your meal, double the recipe. You can also add grated onion to your sauce, like my dad did. I refrained for my carb loving boy’s sake.
- bring a pot of water to boil, add a little salt
- 1/2 pound of pasta
- cook until al dente, just tender.
Next make a roux…doesn’t it sound like I actually know what I’m doing? Don’t be fooled. I just heard that’s what you call it when you begin a sauce by cooking your thickener–flour–with equal parts fat at the beginning.
- 1/4 cup of butter, can be melted first, but I’m lazy so I don’t bother
- 1/4 flour
- whisk (or stir) together over medium heat until it comes together in a paste and smells kind of toasty–you don’t want the uncooked flour taste
- 2 cups of milk until mixture is smooth
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of old cheese, shredded
- put cooked pasta into a baking dish (I like a shallow dish for extra room for melted cheese on top)
- pour cheese sauce over, gently mixing in
- top with shredded cheese
- bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted on top (if you’ve made this ahead, you will need longer to heat through–probably an hour if its been in the fridge)