A kid friendly mac and cheese recipe? In the summertime?
You are probably thinking that I have suffered heat stroke or that I am simply posting an old recipe from the winter.Alas my loves, June in Edmonton is not a warm, sunny time of year for us here in Alberta. It's cold, wet and dreary around seventy-five percent of the time and the other time the suns rays feel so weak that you barely would get a sunburn if you forgot sunscreen.
It's really easy to forget sunscreen when you are used to raincoats and rubber boots 5 days of the week.
So one dismal, dreary day, not so very long ago, I had a major hankering for mac n' cheese.
As in if I didn't get mac n' cheese I was going to hurt someone. Real bad. It also had to be home-made mac n' cheese, creamy, luscious and divine. Sadly, I didn't have a recipe in my repertoire that constituted this. Sure, I know how to make a good cheese sauce but I usually bake my mac n' cheese and it ends up a little bit dry.
There was to be no dry mac n' cheese that day. Someone was going to get hurt if I had to have dry mac n' cheese.
So I took the basic mac n' cheese recipe, added in cream (oh you know how much I love to fatten up recipes!) some major cheese and changed the ratio of noodles and sauce to favor the sauce highly.
There's also a beautiful, tasty adult kick to this mac n' cheese.
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- 1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta I used whole wheat
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup your choice of grated cheese for middle layer
- Brassica mustard
- Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 degrees.
Boil the macaroni until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add in the flour and salt.
- Stir constantly over medium heat until it forms a soft ball.
Stir in the milk slowly, bit by bit, whisking constantly,
Once the flour and milk has combined into a liquid without lumps, whisk in any remaining milk.
Whisk in the cream (this is what makes it SO decadent!). Whisk constantly until the sauce thickens.
Remove the sauce from heat, and stir in 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir until the noodles are covered.
- Split half of the macaroni into individual dishes of your choice (I used oven safe soup bowls!)
Sprinkle on half the cheese. Add the rest of the noodles. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the macaroni is slightly browned on top. We are not baking it dry, we just want to heat it up to melt that cheese in the middle!
- Serve with Brassica (European style) mustard on top.
Before we get to the surprise, let's take a look at that noodle to cheese ratio.
That's what I am talking about, right there baby.
I'm not even sure there are actual noodles in that sauce.
Just get me a straw.
I think I mentioned major cheese so this extra layer inside definitely qualifies this as major.
Once it's all baked up, you are going to top them with gorgeous Brassica European style mustard.
You all remember my love affair with this mustard, yes?
Most good mac n' cheese recipes call for dry mustard in them to add a lovely dimension to the taste. I omitted the mustard IN the recipe and decided to put it on top. I would have put it right into the recipe but this way is actually better; I could load up my own mac n' cheese with as much of this glorious taste sensation as I wanted, yet my kid's mac n'cheese could be plain.
I didn't hurt anyone. I simply enjoyed the mac and cheese I was craving.
You only bake this mac and cheese recipe to melt the cheese in the middle and not to dry it out as most recipes do. The large amount of sauce compared to noodles may seem like too much, but it bakes up like a dream!
The mustard on top was the coup de grâce that made this extraordinary.
Have a fabulous week, all of you! Thanks for stopping in!