International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Macaroni and Cheese

Dish of macaroni and cheese

(American pasta with cheese)

Image Creative Commons by Father.Jack

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Macaroni and cheese is an old American favorite dating back almost to the time of the American Revolution. Always a Southern favorite, its popularity really took off after Kraft introduced a boxed version in the 1930s. Kraft's version became so popular that some people now prefer their packaged to the homemade. We still think homemade is best.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Macaroni -- 1/2 pound
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Flour -- 3 tablespoons
  • Milk -- 2 cups
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded -- 2 or 3 cups
  • Salt and white pepper -- to taste

Method

  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, toss with a little butter and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook and bubble for 1 or 2 minutes. Do not brown or burn.
  3. Whisk in the cold milk all at once, beating out any lumps. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the cheese sauce and the cooked macaroni. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake, uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes to heat through and brown the top.

Macaroni & Cheese Variations

  • Try using a mixture of cheeses — Cheddar, Jack, Parmesan, Gouda. Some cooks swear by Velveeta.
  • Top with extra shredded cheese before baking if you like.
  • Substitute half the milk with half-and-half for a creamier result.
  • For a crispy, gratinéed result, top the macaroni and cheese with about 1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs dot with 1 tablespoon of butter and bake. Or use crumbled potato chips.
  • Use different varieties of pasta for a texture change.
  • Stir in some chopped ham, chopped tomatoes or minced herbs (parsley, thyme) before baking. Sprinkle the top with a little paprika. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce or 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried ground mustard. Use your imagination
  • Stir in 1/4 cup mayonnaise before baking to add creaminess.

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