Hi everyone. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to include recipes here that are old-timers in my family repertoire, but not ones that I feel a need to write much about; ones I can just post unaccompanied by much writing. I have a lot of recipes that are terrific for the family table and don’t require a whole lot of kitchen skills. Knowing my readers as I do, I think there is a definite place for them here. I have finally decided to create a new category in my side bar: Simple Family Fare. Some of the recipes will be classic family eating, like my favorite Mac and Cheese and Welsh Rarebit recipes. Others will simply be my best choice for an American classic like Lemon Meringue pie. Plenty of recipes out there, but none better than the one from The Joy of Cooking. Then there are my “shorthand” recipes, like the one I use to make quick meatballs and sauce for grinders.
So if you’re looking for fast and easy dishes with my stamp of approval, check out Simple Family Fare. Here’s the first: my favorite no-frills Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
Note: My daughter Jenn insists that I let you know that spinach tastes great in Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and she always includes it. As a matter of fact her kids are puzzled when they see it served elsewhere without a speck of green in sight. It does get the veggies in there, and it doesn’t detract from the dish at all. So if you have veggie-shunning kids, you might just want to try it.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 10-ounce packages of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Cook macaroni till cooked al dente. Drain.
Set aside 1 cup of grated cheese.
In a 13” x 9” baking dish, put 1/2 of the macaroni. Cover with 1/2 the cheese. Add another layer of macaroni and finish with the second half of the cheese. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until blended and cook for 1 minute to cook the flour. Gradually add the milk then the seasonings, whisking as you go. Boil 1 minute, strirring constantly.
Pour sauce over macaroni and cheese in pan. Using a knife, wiggle the sauce down into the pan in a few places. Top with reserved cheese.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is melted and browned.