31 December 2013

Foodie Tuesday | Homemade Mac & Cheese

In this house, we go cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs for macaroni and cheese.

Not just any macaroni and cheese. HOMEMADE macaroni and cheese. The kind Mom makes, if that mom is me.

This recipe is a quick-and-easy downhome favourite; the kids cheer - literally, cheer - when they hear it's on the menu. I'm not even making that up.

But don't be fooled by it's ooey-gooey golden-delicious good looks. It's terrible for you. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. Really, the only thing to recommend it is that it tastes SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

So I think I've fairly categorized how good this mac & cheese is for you (in that, it isn't at all), so you won't be surprised to see that the main ingredients are basically fat, salt and processed wheat. We can also universally acknowledge that canned soup is the devil and butter his faithful sidekick, but sinners need love, too.

And you know what says love-in-a-pot? Homemade macaroni and cheese.

Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes | Serves: 6
  • 500g whole wheat macaroni noodles
  • 2 (10 fl.oz.) cans Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup
  • 10 fl.oz. (1 can) 5% cream
  • 5 cups old cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

Cooking Directions:
  1. Boil salted water in a large pot and cook macaroni noodles until just tender. Drain, and set aside.
    You want to undercook them a little bit because they'll bake for 40 minutes later on and absorb the soup liquids.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. While pasta is cooking, in a large 3-quart casserole dish combine next 5 ingredients (Campbell's cheddar cheese soup through black pepper).
    Generally, I whisk together the soup and cream until well blended and smooth. Then I add the cheese, about one cup at a time, and whisk it gently to prevent clumping. Once all the cheese is incorporated, add the Worcestershire sauce and pepper, and give it a final stir.
  4. To the cheese mixture, add to macaroni and stir until the noodles are completely coated.
  5. In a medium heat butter in the microwave until completely melted. Add bread crumbs and stir thoroughly.
  6. Spread the bread crumbs evenly on top of the mac and cheese.
  7. Cover the dish and bake for 40 minutes until golden-bubbly. Remove lid and cook for 10 minutes more, to brown the bread crumbs.
  8. Serve with maybe a vegetable or two, to justify the splurge!

For a grown-up twist on this family classic, add a 1/2 cup of minced green onions and a 1/3-1/2 cup freshly diced tomatoes to the mix.


Other Foodie Tuesday comfort foods you might like: