Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easy Oven Mac

Mmmmm Mac-n-Cheese. Classic comfort food. I've searched high and low for a recipe I like for homemade Mac and finally I combined all the basic concepts to make my own. I'll warn you: it's super SIMPLE. Cuz that's how I roll.

I personally don't like the box stuff -- too bright orange and saucy for who really knows what's in those powdered packets anyways?! 

Something magical happens when you put Mac-n-Cheese in the oven (ok..not magical but I still dig it) - it turns into a scoop-able dish that doesn't get all over your kids faces and isn't dripping with liquid-ey sauce. Magic? maybe not. Personal preference for eating and cleaning? Yep.

I'm's the simple recipe. The wonderful thing about simple recipes is that YOU can personalize it however you please!

Oven Mac-n-Cheese

You Need: 
* Box of Elbow Macaroni (I try to use Whole Wheat so I don't feel so bad....)
* 4 Tbs Butter
* 4 Tbs Flour
* 2 Cups Chicken Broth
* 2 Cups Shredded Cheese (use what you like...this time I used part Cheddar and part Colby)
* Topping of choice (I'll list all the possibilities later)


* Boil your noodles according to the box for Al Dente (they'll finish cooking in the oven) in a big pot and drain.

* Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan melt your 4 Tbs butter.

* Add in your 4 Tb of flour and stir-stir-stir! It should get to be peanut butter consistency in quick order.

* Pour in your 2 cups chicken broth and stir again...keep stirring to mix it thoroughly.

* Add in your 2 cups of cheese - keep stirring! Don't stop. I get all fancy and stir in a figure-8 for this. Don't get frustrated when all your cheese clumps...keep stirring! When you feel like it's a lost cause....keep stirring! I promise it'll come together....figure-8 that pot till you get a beautiful, creamy sauce. **Here you can add in whatever spices you please. Sometimes I do simple salt/pepper, other times I throw in some garlic powder, or whatever your little heart desires!**

* Put your cooked/drained noodles back in the big pot and pour your awesome sauce over 'em. Mix it up real well!

* SPRAY a 9x13 dish - pour your gorgeous pot of Mac in and spread it around.

* TOP with your desired toppings and either cover and store in the fridge/freezer till cooking time or pop in a 350* oven. I do 30 min from the fridge so if you're cooking it right from the hot pot I bet you could do 20 min. (Covered to start then uncovered to brown the yummy topping under the broiler for the last few minutes)

* Scoop out a big old serving and ENJOY!


*Bacon/Cheese/French's Fried Onions (this is what I did tonight....Oh.My.Goodness.)
*Bread Crumbs
*Extra Cheese
*Crumbled Potato Chips
*Anything Salty!

If you enjoy the comfort food of Mac-n-Cheese you should give this homemade version a whirl! It's good. And simple. And it makes A LOT. Gotta love leftovers!

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