Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everyday Baked Macaroni and Cheese

A creamy baked macaroni and cheese that uses a combination of cheddar and Velveeta and a buttery roux.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Okay, you probably wouldn't want to eat this every day, but what I mean by that is that this is my 'regular' mac and cheese recipe, as opposed to my special occasion mac and cheese, which is excellent, but very rich, loaded with eggs, butter with cheese. I finally got around to makin' this one, and it, on the other hand, is a little, well, more reasonable, and what you could serve any day of the week.

I don't like the gloppy, stringy texture of cheddar in macaroni and cheese on it's own, but I love the flavor of it. But combine that cheddar with a bit of Velveeta - yeah, that's right, Velveeta, the southern staple - and put that into a white sauce, and it makes a fantastic cheese base for the macaroni that is just right and cheesy. No need for additional salt generally, but be sure to take a taste before it goes into the oven and adjust as needed.

I know the kids love the 'box' and I don't deny having made more than a few of those myself in my lifetime - I even have a casserole using boxed mac and cheese here that is very yummy - but every once in awhile put away the 'box' and give this a try. It comes together pretty quick, and is creamy, homey, comforting, and just downright cheesy wonderful goodness, I'm tellin' ya!

A Facebook reader suggested adding a topping of crushed saltines before baking, then top with slices of butter in the last few minutes. I think that sounds fantastic, so thanks for that suggestion!


Recipe: Everyday Macaroni and Cheese

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound of elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups of milk
  • 6 turns of the pepper mill
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 6 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 6 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Crushed saltine crackers, optional
  • Butter, cut up into thin slices, optional
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray; set aside. Cook the elbow macaroni in very generously salted boiling water according to lowest recommended time on package directions. Drain, rinse with hot water & set aside.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute until soft. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes to cook it through; slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly until fully incorporated. Season with the pepper and Cajun seasoning; add the Velveeta. Stir over a medium low heat until blended. Add the shredded cheddar and stir until well blended. Add the macaroni to the saucepan and stir.

Pour into the prepared casserole and if desired, sprinkle with crushed saltines. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, adding the slices of butter scattered over the top of the saltines (if using) the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove and let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Variation: Can also be finished on the stovetop. After adding the macaroni to the sauce, cook and stir over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, adding the additional milk as needed, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on July 28, 2009

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31 comments:

  1. Mmmmm, nummm, nummm, num.

    Now I'm craving it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!! So great to "meet" you!!

    I am just doing the Summer blog study that Beth is facilitating. It's been wonderful!! I love her so much!

    I'll be back to visit your wonderful blog again soon!

    Blessings,
    Sasha

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stopping in from SITS - saw your comment about your new soon-to-be arriving grandbaby!! Congrats soon-to-be grandmother - how exciting for you and your family!!

    That recipe looks yummy -

    Happy Tuesday - if you get a chance - stop by my blog and enter my giveaway - I bet you could find something for a new baby there!!

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  3. Mary,
    That looks so good--thanks for another great recipe to try. I love mac and cheese--especially homemade. Sheila in NC

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  4. This is the way my Hubby loves it...though I've never added the onion or cajun seasoning...sounds like a great twist!

    Nuthin' like good ol' comfort food!☺

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  5. Yum, yum, yum! How can you go wrong with mac&cheese?

    This looks delish and the recipe is refreshingly different.

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  6. Creamy cheesy goodness. Right up my alley!

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  7. Now this is good mac and cheese! I grew up on my moms and she used velveeta- makes it so creamy and good.I'm with you on the stringy stuff!

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  8. Ok This will be a good one for my family! Yumm!

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  9. Mary- I have a confession to make- I am addicted to velveeta! I know it's not a real cheese product, but you are right...mixed with other cheeses, its creaminess needs the perfect texture! This looks heavenly. I could eat it everyday!

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  10. Oh dear...this looks SINFUL!!! Saying hi from SITS!

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  11. Ooooh, how love this kind of food; too bad that my behind stores it so well! Roz

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  12. My dear girl, you are SO wrong. I DO want to eat that delicious Mac and Cheese EVERY DAY! YES! It just looks so danged good.

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  13. Umm I could eat this everyday. My favorite food is mac and cheese. It looks so creamy and delicious Mary. Now I am craving it badly.

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  14. This looks so much better than the boxed version! And Velveeta, well it's just like that song from the old commercial "Cheddar's lumpy. Cheddar's oily. I runs off of the plate onto your doily. When the cookbook calls for cheddar...make it with Velveeta... it melts better."

    We keep Velveeta on hand here at all times.

    I have a special occasion mac n cheese too. It's almost like a mac n cheese custard. My grandma makes it for every family dinner. Love it.

    I may have to make this everyday mac n cheese soon. Maybe as a side for our burgers this weekend. It's calling to me. Thanks, Mary!

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  15. I prefer cheddar and my husband prefers Velveeta, so this may be the perfect meeting of the two!

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  16. This is definitely the ultimate comfort food! Looks so cheesy and good.

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  17. that mac and cheese and the banana pudding look so darn good!! thanks for stopping by my blog and for the compliment on my name :)

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  18. Mary, I just have to say your Mac and Cheese recipes have become my go-to recipe. My family loves them and when they see "Mac and Cheese" on the menu for the week, you would think we were eating cake for dinner! Thanks for sharing such great recipes!

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    Replies
    1. Oh I love it Jamie!! I'm so glad that your family has been enjoying this recipe. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and comment.

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  19. looks so good what am I gonna do since we are not Velveeta people at all? I can't make a good mac and cheese it's never creamy it's dry with cheese on the top, rofl. I can't do Velveeta any substitution ideas on this one?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Tracey! Yeah, that's exactly why I use Velveeta in my macs - it gives the added creaminess that is otherwise lacking. You'll need a substitute that is still a "processed cheese" - can you do American cheese?

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  20. Love Velveeta in my Mac, but now I top it with Hot and Spicy Cheeze-its! Trust me on this one...it adds that perfect crunch and ZING!

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    Replies
    1. How could that be anything but good!! My husband and I love those Cheez-it crackers.

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  21. Thank you! Made this today...it was soooo good! Added Smoked Gouda, cause it was in the fridge, and oh my! I've been trying to find a recipe like this forever! Thank you again!!! I'll never make stringy mac n cheese again! LOL

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Valerie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it & I know that addition of smoked gouda was fantastic. You know... I've been trying to recreate a recipe for a "stringy" mac and cheese just because there are so many folks who like it that way. I have lost track of how many I have made and not one has been what I'd deem acceptable. I guess I'll keep trying, but clearly I am a creamy mac and cheese kinda gal!!

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  22. I made this today to go with a cajun ham I baked. I only changed one thing. I used canned milk to give it a richer taste. I tasted it before I baked and it is great. Thanks for such a good recipe.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome Tami - glad you enjoyed it & thanks so much for stopping back by to let me know!!

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  23. Mary I was wondering if you could make this in the crockpot? Heather

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    Replies
    1. Hey Heather! You know, I have played around with some variations, I haven't found that one mac & cheese I've fallen in love with for the crockpot yet. I haven't given up so I'm sure I'll play around with it some more!

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  24. My 16 year old daughter has been begging for some homemade mac'n'cheese. She came home with a friend today so we made your Everyday recipe. It was absolutely delicious! It's very rich! We served with seamed broccoli. I had to make a couple changes. I used medium size shells and half extra sharp cheddar and half Monterey Jack. For the cracker topping I used Cheez Its White Cheddar chrackers. The topping was so yummy that next time I'll use a 9" by 13" baking dish so we'll have more topping. My daughter's friend loved it - this was her first time having homemade and we all had fun making it then devouring. Thanks for the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome - so glad that y'all enjoyed it! I know that topping was marvelous!!

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