Furthering my love for all things orange, I made mac and cheese this weekend. Here’s what I did.
I assembled the ingredients.
2 cups (8 oz) elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups milk (I use 2% milk)
2 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use 2%)
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions until al dente and drain. Set aside.
Make a bechamel sauce:
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over high heat. When just melted, dump in the flour and blend well with a wire whisk to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk. Add the spices and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Top with the reserved cheddar cheese and the parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 375-degree oven for about half an hour.
There are many variations you can employ in the making of the mac and cheese, but this is my favorite. The cayenne pepper and dry mustard add a nice little “bite” to it. Zesty!
Speaking of orange, I am on the edging of my shawl. Excitement abounds!
Lucy is the personification of excitement!