Here’s another kid-friendly food, although this particular recipe is perhaps more catered toward adults. Mac and Cheese is a popular American comfort food that is not only super yummy, but also quite simple to make at home.
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
– Fill a kettle with water. Lightly salt it and drizzle it with canola or vegetable oil. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook until al dente.
In a small kettle over medium-high heat, cook the bacon pieces through until a little bit crunchy. Drain the fat, reserving 1 teaspoon. Set bacon aside.
In a large kettle over medium heat, melt the butter.
Once melted, add the flour to make a roux. Heat the roux, stirring it often, until it turned a light, golden brown color (you’re essentially lightly burning the butter).
Gradually add the milk, whisking as you go. Heat the milk, whisking almost constantly, until it begins to thicken.
– In a small bowl, beat the egg. Grab a ladle or a large spoon and QUICKLY scoop some of the slightly thickened milk mixture into the bowl with the egg. Whisk it briskly to prevent the egg from coagulating then pour it back into the milk mixture. Continue to stir the milk mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches about a medium-thick consistency.
Add the mustard. I don’t very often measure things as you can see, but if you don’t have good guessing skills, definitely measure it.
Add the paprika and garlic powder. Notice that it is beginning to gain a pleasant yellow tint.
Now begin to add the cheese 1/2 cup at a time. Add as little or as much cheese as you’d like (I usually stick between 2 and 3 cups).
– After adding cheese, taste the sauce. Add as much salt and pepper as you deem necessary–or none at all.
– Now mix in the noodles, the reserved teaspoon of bacon fat, and all but about 1 tablespoon worth of the bacon bits.
Fill a greased casserole dish with the macaroni and cheese. Lightly sprinkle the top with some more cheese for garnish.
Sprinkle the top with a light coat of bread crumbs (I was pregnant when I did this and bread crumbs just sounded really good to me, so I overdid it; therefore, don’t necessarily go by the picture). Next, sprinkle the reserved bacon pieces and some parsley. Finally, lightly drizzle some olive oil over the bread crumbs to help them toast.
Bake the homemade mac and cheese in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the top layer of cheese has melted and the bread crumbs begin to toast.
Serve with a side of your favorite veggies. Eat up!
- Instead of cheddar, use any kind or combination of cheese (mozzarella, provolone, a but of fresh Parmesan, etc.).
- Spice it up! Try adding different spices to give it new flavors. Maybe some red pepper flakes to add some heat, or thyme to add a woodsy-lemony flare.
- To make it more kid friendly for pickier eaters, omit the bacon, paprika, garlic powder, and bread crumbs (or anything your kiddo doesn’t like).
- To make it slightly healthful and to add some color, add some chopped tomatoes. Cheese and tomato compliment each other quite nicely.
- Someone once told me that anybody can cook, but it takes creativity to be a chef. So get creative! Be a chef! Make it truly unique and wholly yours.
Yield: about 10 servings; freezes well