Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Elizabeth Hait makes a Macaroni and Cheese recipe in this installment of KitchenDaily's Family Chef series, in which home cooks make recipes from our database and tell you how it went -- what they changed, what they kept and who was in the kitchen helping.
It's always a struggle to put down meals for my family to eat together because I am gluten intolerant, my little sister is a vegetarian, my older sister is picky, and my mother is very patient. So I planned ahead for this particular meal and used a package of some gluten-free brown rice pasta to make for dinner last night.
This recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese looks a lot like my mom's basic mac recipe, so I used this as my base. I had to make a few slight adjustments, the aforementioned gf pasta, I made some breadcrumbs with my favorite store-bought bread (which I also packed and brought with me), and a gf flour blend to make the Béchamel sauce that becomes the cheese sauce. Not really a big deal, just a few extra steps! The big deal will come later with flavor, as the picky sister will not eat anything made with garlic or dried mustard, ugh.
I started the water to boil and at the same time started the milk/flour combination in the saucepan. It came together well, just a small amount of brown on the bottom of the pan due to my slight distractedness cooking in the unfamiliar kitchen. The sauce became incredibly cheesey! It was stringy and looked like it would be too much for the amount of pasta I'd cooked -- but really, there can never be such a thing as too much cheese, right?
The cheese and pasta mixture was topped with the breadcrumbs and popped into the oven. It baked for about 25 minutes and started to smell quite incredible. My mom made a side of steamed cauliflower, continuing on the apparently white-themed dinner.
Dinner's on! My little sister immediately said that it "looks wonderful" and quickly followed up with a "mmm, so creamy, and these breadcrumbs are much crunchier than the store-bought kind." Later on she added that she "could eat this all night!" I agree.
My picky sister even agreed with me when I said that this would be good with veggies (like chopped cauliflower) mixed in too. And maybe some more colorful ones like peas and broccoli too, but cauliflower is a good first step. It's also one step in the right direction to eat more healthy.
Make the macaroni and cheese recipe.
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