Everybody has their favorite comfort foods. Comfort foods provide comfort in a number of ways including being easy to eat and flavorful. They can also be foods that remind us of pleasant times in our lives, such as our youth. They may be foods our mother or grandmother made and/or are of an ethnic or geographic variety that reminds us of a place we used to call home.
One of the great comfort foods is Macaroni and Cheese. It really surprises me at how many boxes of Macaroni and Cheese mix are sold in stores. The surprise is not that Macaroni and Cheese is popular, but that since making Macaroni and Cheese from scratch is so easy and good, why anyone would make it from a box. The only thing the package saves you from is measuring the noodles and shredding the cheese. You still have to cook the noodles as well as measure and add the butter & milk. Plus homemade does not contain chemical additives.
Today was a comfort food day for me and in observation of that fact I made Macaroni and Cheese – from scratch, since I do not keep the boxed variety in my pantry.
Here is my recipe:
MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 c Macaroni noodles
2 T Butter
1/2 c Milk (or cream for an even richer tasting dish)
1 c Cheddar cheese, shredded *
1/2 t Salt, kosher
1/8 t Pepper, freshly ground
Boil enough water in a pot to cover the macaroni noodles. Add noodles and boil until cooked to the desired tenderness, usually about 10 minutes. Drain noodles. Add butter to pan and melt. Then add milk, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Add cooked noodles and stir until coated with cheese sauce.
* Although I believe in being economical, one place I never scrimp on is the quality of ingredients. Preparing dishes from scratch helps enable me to do this because I save on the costs added in by manufacturers of prepared food to cover their labor and packaging expenses. For preparing this recipe I highly recommend using a good quality cheddar cheese. I appreciate that my local grocer stocks Tillamook Cheese and prefer their Sharp Cheddar. Tillamook is one of many quality cheeses available from dairies in the U. S. I am very thankful to have had the privilege of touring their facilities in Tillamook, Oregon several times.