Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Real Macaroni and Cheese
Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe by Beryl Stokes
While thinking about making this recipe and videoing it for you, I found myself thinking about back in elementary school when we kids loved school lunches. My Granny was a "lunch lady" so I thought the food was wonderful. I remember the Sloppy Joe's, baked French fries, hamburger day, the rolls, the unbaked peanut butter cookie, little cartons of chocolate milk and of course macaroni and cheese.
These were times when people still cooked real food. It was the pre-microwave era. A couple years ago, our microwave was spitting and sputtering sparks. So, I asked my husband to put ours to the curb. We went without a microwave for about two years and you know what, we managed just fine reheating food in the oven or on the stove.
Anyway, somewhere along the line in an effort for fast food at meal time, someone decided that a 25 cent box of macaroni with a powdered cheese mix was the best thing since sliced bread. I remember loving boxed macaroni and cheese and it was so easy to make. Boil water; add a pack of powder, margarine and milk and that was a young teen's idea of a meal. This kind of cooking was one of my first experiences with cooking. I must admit that I have burned a few pots of water in my life.
So, how about let's return back to a time where we took our time to cook healthy, nutritious and from scratch meals for our families. While I was eating all those foods that came out of a box or a bag as a child, it never occurred to me or my parents that the food I was eating was making me sick.
I was 23 before I figured out that having a migraine after most snacks and meals was attributed to MSG (monosodium glutamate) added to that powdered cheese, can soup, frozen pizzas, and flavored chips. I was literally making myself sick by not eating foods made with natural ingredients.
Since then and it's been many, many years, I have found that it is not that hard or time consuming to just cook a meal from scratch. Not that all foods containing cheese, macaroni, milk and butter is incredibly healthy, but it sure tastes good and doesn't make me sick.
My friends often comment, "How do you eat when everything has preservatives and artificial flavors?" Honestly, it's not that hard. In the store, you stick to the parameter of the store - breads, dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, and produce. I typically do not buy much down the middle aisles. Another hint is if it has a label, it probably not your best choice. If there is anything I cannot distinguish as a real ingredient, I don't buy it.
Enough said about that. Let's get back to the comfort food of our past. Home Style Macaroni and Cheese is one of my husband's favorites and I usually only make it on a Saturday or Sunday evening so that he can have left over's for lunch the next day. Just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour of your time will make you the best cook ever.
Macaroni & Cheese Step 1
Macaroni & Cheese Step 2
Macaroni & Cheese Step 3
Macaroni & Cheese Step 4
Macaroni & Cheese Step 5
Let's Get Started Cooking!
Let's get started. If you have a young child or a teenager, have them join you. This is a great activity to cook as a family.
Home Style Macaroni and Cheese:
4 Tablespoons real butter (1/2 the stick)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 deep skillet
1 medium sauce pan
1 1-1/2 quart casserole dish (sprayed with cooking spray)
- Preheat your oven to 375º. Have all your ingredients prepared and measured before starting because you will need each item to be ready to go.
- Fill your medium sauce pan with water and place 1 Tablespoon of butter. Place on medium heat so that the water is heating while other cooking is being done.
- Place your milk in a microwave safe container or another sauce pan to warm the milk. I use the microwave for this and put the timer on 1:30 minutes.
- In the deep skillet, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Turn on medium heat. Melt the butter stirring with whisk. Toss in the flour alittle at a time stirring continuously. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the warmed milk while whisking continuously. Once completely blended with the butter and flour; cook for 10 minutes stirring continuously. If you stop, the milk and flour will burn. Remove pan from heat.
- At this point, your water for the macaroni is probably boiling. Stir in the macaroni. Cook for only 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir into the white sauce mixture, the Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper and ground nutmeg. Little by little stir in 4 cups of sharp cheddar cheese. Cover and set aside.
- The macaroni should be done. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
- Gradually spoon the macaroni into the cheese sauce mixture until all macaroni is covered in cheese sauce. Pour into a 1 ½ quart casserole dish.
- Place casserole dish into 375° oven on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cover with remaining shredded cheese. Let set for 5 minutes. Enjoy!
Serves 6. Works well with grilled burgers, pork tenderloin or steak.
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