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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cold weather calls for warm meals

As I'm typing this the sun has FINALLY come out in MT.
I guess it has been on vacation for the last few weeks,
glad to see it has made an appearance today.
The other day, however, when I made this meal it was still M.I.A.
So I felt a nice warm oven meal was in order. 
Unlike Logan I am a vegetable fan, so I chose to serve this baked mac n cheese with some roasted mushrooms, recipe found here. 
They were pretty amazing...I added too much parsley at the end, but was still able to enjoy them.
This is a great staple meal, easy and quick to prepare, could even be prepared the night before and then thrown into the oven after work.  
I've tried MANY baked mac n cheese recipes and I must say so far this is my fave.
I did add a little bit of "slap ya mama", which gave it the perfect ZING.
I hope that the weather wherever you are is turning spring like, but if not, or even if it is, try this!

Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb elbow pasta
4 T butter
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 
1 1/4 cups shredded yellow cheddar
1 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar
8oz ham, diced (I skipped this)
2 slices white sandwich bread (I used wheat)

Preheat oven to 375.  Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and reserve.  Meanwhile, in a 5 qt heavy pot, melt the butter over med heat.  Add onion; cook until softened 3-5 min.  Whisk in the flour to coat the onion.  In a slow steady stream whisk in the milk until there are no lumps.
 Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6-8 min.  Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each of the yellow and white cheddar.  Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Toss pasta with the cheese mixture; fold in the ham (if using).  Transfer to a 9x13 in baking dish. 
In a food processor pulse the bread until large crumbs form. 
Toss together with remaining cheese and 1/4 tsp salt.  Top the pasta with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until top is golden, about 30 min.
Serves 8.

Logan Rating: ****

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