Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Macaroni and Cheese a True Comfort Food
First off you'll need to make a simple white sauce. This is one of the first things my Mother taught me make. Because when well made it has a place in many homey creamed dishes. It can stretch leftovers or give cooked foods a new life. It is also a base for souffles. The foolproof way to attain a perfectly smooth sauce is to have your milk hot when you add it to the butter and flour.
To make your basic White sauce or Bechamel sauce as it is sometimes called;
2-tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-cup milk, heated
salt and freshly ground black or white pepper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil and add the salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more.
Remove from the heat. You may cool this sauce for later use, in that case, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.
Now that you know how to make the base, let's get on to making the homemade macaroni and cheese.
9-ounces elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed and drained
1-cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2-cup low-fat small curd cottage cheese
2-cups white sauce (so you'll need to double the basic sauce recipe)
1...Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter (or use cooking spray) a casserole dish.
2...To make the white sauce a cheese sauce, stir in the 1-cup cheddar cheese and cottage cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
3...Add the cooked macaroni, stir to blend well and pour into the casserole dish, sprinkle with a little more grated cheese evenly over the top.
4...Bake uncovered, until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Some additional uses for basic white sauce.
1...For a thicker cream sauce. Use 3-tablespoons flour to 1 cup milk. This is the consistency needed as a base for croquettes and souffles.
2...Curry cream sauce, add 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon ginger with the flour.
3...Mock Hollandaise, just before serving, beat in 2 egg yolks, 6 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon at a time), and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
4...Mornay sauce. Add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Stir until well blended. Just before removing from the heat, beat 2 tablespoons of sauce into 1 lightly beaten egg yolk. Stir the sauce-yolk mixture back into the sauce and add 2 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir for 1 more minute.