Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mac 'n Cheeses

I know what you are thinking, just what the  world needs, another recipe for macaroni and cheese.  Please bear with me.
Growing up I loved the school's mac 'n cheese.  The process american cheese melted over, under and through the elbow macaroni.  If only Mom could do that.  Nope.  Dad liked his with Tillamook cheddar.  Enough said.
Oh, I did try a couple of times.  I snuck in some Velveeta.  Dad noticed.  "Why don't you eat the macaroni and cheese at school and let Mom make the mac 'n cheese at home."  Oh, I never thought Mom added enough cheese.  There was always too much macaroni for my taste.

After we married, I found out Scott liked a little Velveeta along with the Tillamook.  Okay, I could very well live with that.  Grandma Jo put some minced onion in her mac 'n cheese.  Alright, let's add that too.

About 15 years ago I went to make macaroni and cheese.  A s'midgen of Velveeta, about 1/3 lb of Tillamook and that was it.  I can't make a good casserole with such limited cheese.  Rooting around in the fridge I found 1/2 container cottage cheese, 2 TBSP cream cheese, a TBSP of Romano Pecorino, about a 1 in x 3 in piece of guyere.  I added it all along with some milk and invented my favorite mac 'n cheese!  I call it

Mac 'n Cheeses
Preheat oven to 400F
1 lb dry elbow macaroni
A mix of cheeses totalling 2 cups  cutting cheeses into cubes, hard cheeses I grate
2 cups milk
1TBSP finely chopped onion

Cook the elbow macaroni in 3 quarts boiling water for 7 min.  drain.
Put all ingredients in a Buttered three quart casserole  and stir
Using a mix of cheese totalling 2 cups
         cheddar, american process, cottage, ricotta, cream cheese,parmesean, romano, guyere, feta
I try to use less than 1/2 cup of one of the more strongly flavored cheesees.  1 cup of cheddar and/or american process works just fine.  That leaves 1/2 cup of cream cheese or cottage cheese.  The soft cheeses mellow out the whole dish.
Add the milk and onion.

Bake 400F  20 minutes  Stir well and serve.
Serves 6 hungry people

This is one of Scott's favorite lunches.  I freeze four containers with a frozen veg. and he is good to go.

We will eat the boxed mac 'n cheese occasionally.  Uusally it tastes like a salt lick.  I do like the 'Shells and Cheese.'  I like to  cook some broccoli and/or cauliflower, carrots, and 2 tsp onion, then add the veg to the sauce and cheese.  Makes a great one dish meal.  Wonderful for lunch.

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