I have a macaroni and cheese recipe that I love, but it's very high in fat, very laborious and very expensive (it calls for five cheeses, all very pricey), and I only make it once in a blue moon...hum, don't we have a blue moon tonight? Anyway...
It was time for something other than the boxed stuff, and something not so high in fat. Oh, and it needed to be easy and quick...and creamy. A bit of a tall order.
I decided to adapt my enchilada cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese, and it turned out very well. If you're looking for something other than the boxed stuff, and something a little better for you, too, you might give this one a try. It was very easy, very quick, and quite tasty. The sauce came together in the time it took for the pasta water to boil, and the noodles to cook.
I imagine it would be really nice with a sharp white cheddar, but I used what I had on hand, which happened to be the ol' stand-by in this house, Tillamook mild cheddar.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here. (Located at Google docs).
8 ounces dried macaroni pasta
1-1/2 cups skim milk (you can use 1%, 2% or whole milk, but for the lower fat version, use skim)
2 tablespoons flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces shredded cheddar
Set a large saucepan to boil, and begin cooking pasta according to package directions.
In a small bowl, combine milk, flour, garlic, kosher salt and Dijon mustard, and whisk until flour is well incorporated. Add mixture to a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add shredded cheddar and stir until cheese melts.
Drain cooked pasta, toss with cheese sauce, and let stand, covered, for 2-3 minutes, until cheese sauce sets.
Toss, plate, garnish (I used chives from my garden, which were a nice add), and serve.
(If I were making this for children, I might pass on the mustard, and perhaps the garlic, as well. I think it might take them too far from what they find familiar. Then again, if you have a child with an advanced palate, it might be worth leaving the recipe as is).