I picked macaroni and cheese and apple pie for our American dishes for My Kitchen My World this week. Everyone has their own favorite macaroni and cheese, I like just about all of them, but my husband not so much. I've tried tons of macaroni and cheese recipes in the five years we've been married and he either likes them a little or not at all. I knew I wanted to make a nice bubbly casserole of macaroni and cheese for my main dish of "home" foods. What recipe I used would be a toss up. Honestly I just wanted to make something, hope it turned out halfway decent, and take a picture to post. I had no idea that I would stumble across the recipe for macaroni and cheese that my husband would love. I went browsing recipes, checked out all recipes, and then remembering I had a loaf of velveeta cheese I wanted to use up went to the kraft website looking for a half velveeta half cheddar recipe. I had made this a few times, it was okay but not outstanding. As I checked the macaroni and cheese recipes on the kraft website I came across this one...
Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine (butter of course)
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt (I used my new Kosher salt that I bought for the panzanella)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 cups KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided (I shredded some from my huge block of sharp cheddar a la Sam's Club)
1 pkg. (7 oz.) elbow macaroni (1-3/4 cups), cooked, drained (I used Barilla)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in large saucepan on low heat. Add flour and salt; mix well. Cook 2 minutes or until bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring until well blended. Cook on medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Add 1-1/2 cups of the cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Add macaroni; mix lightly.
Spoon into 1-1/2-quart casserole; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
What a simple recipe, a roux based cheese sauce, one cheese, couldn't get any easier.
We all sat down for a little macaroni and cheese lunch and I gave dh a bowl thinking he would probably eat it and say it was 'okay' and that would be all, we were all looking forward to some apple pie for dessert anyway and no one really cared about this basic macaroni and cheese.
My husband loved it! He said this was the best macaroni and cheese ever. Amazing. So there you go, easy and delicious. The kids and I also liked it, and while I prefer a more 'decked out' mac and cheese with provolone and maybe fontina and maybe some sun dried tomatoes and a crumb topping, this one is a definite repeat recipe for easy family meals.
And of course apple pie, what food is more American than that? I used my old stand by recipe, the one where the filling is cooked on the stove for about 10 minutes and the apples get softened a bit, but not mushy. It's my husband's favorite and I aim to please. I'm not great at lattice tops but I always try my best :)
Thumbs up all around for this "USA" meal!