Considered by many as America’s most beloved comfort food, mac and cheese was tonight’s emergency and very rushed dinner. We ran out of rice, we ran out of green leafy vegetables, it’s been raining (with gusty winds) for the past four days and grocery shopping wasn’t the most attractive activity for the day. In short, there weren’t too many choices for dinner. It was either a no-meat, no-veggies tofu dish or pasta. Mac and cheese seemed to be the simplest.
If you search the web for “mac and cheese”, you will find recipes for so many versions you’ll end up not knowing which one to make. There are versions with milk, cream, ham or bacon. There are versions with spinach and peas. The simplest is a mixture of butter, cooked pasta and shredded cheese. I’m throwing in my version with the rest.
Baked mac and cheese
- 225 grams uncooked elbow maraconi
- 2 pimientos cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large white onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 225 grams sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 6 to 8 slices mild cheddar cheese
- 3 to 4 cups skim milk
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the macaroni cooks, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the chopped onion and pimientos. Cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the flour all at once, stirring to dissolve lumps. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the milk in a thin stream, stirring non-stop to create a smooth sauce.
- Add the grated cheese. Cook until the cheese melts.
- Off the heat, season with enough salt to suit your taste.
- Pour the cooked macaroni in a baking dish. Pour in the cheese sauce. Stir to blend. Smoothen the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Lay the slices of mild cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake in a preheated 380F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.