09 May 2010
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese: The Ultimate Comfort Food
In honor of Mother's Day, I'm sharing one of the tastiest and most reliable recipes my mom taught me: macaroni and cheese. Thanks to my mom, I never tasted the instant boxed kind until I was in college, when a friend convinced me to try it. Let's just say I was not impressed. Why would you ever eat that processed stuff when the real thing is so ridiculously simple? Trust me, if you try this once, you won't feel the same way about powdered cheese ever again.
This mac and cheese method isn't made with a cheese sauce (though I have tried some pretty excellent homemade varieties that are), so it couldn't possibly be any easier to make. Here's how:
Step one: Boil water, add macaroni noodles, and cook until done. Drain.
Step two: Grease a casserole dish or baking pan really well. Put half of the noodles into the pan, spreading evenly. Cover the noodles with a generous layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Layer on the rest of the noodles, then put more cheese on top.
Step three: Splash a little milk over the top of the dish, and put a few slices of butter on top. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Step four: Eat your delicious creation! It is the best thing when the weather is gross or if you've been having a rough week. Cheesy, noodley goodness!
Variations: You can easily make this dish a little fancier if you feel so inclined. When I was a kid, I thought I was very adventurous when I added a little powdered garlic with the cheese. More recently, we mixed in some Gouda cheese with the cheddar, and added caramelized onions in the final cheese layer. Scrumptious! Do you like your mac and cheese topped with breadcrumbs? Or maybe you want to add some spicy peppers for a more exciting dish? Perhaps some diced mushrooms or chopped spinach for a slightly healthier version? The only limit... is your imagination!