20 Sep 2012, 2:25pm
Of Food and Love recipes:

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  • Of Food And Love: Easy, healthy Mac-n-Cheese

    I can’t remember the last time I bought Mac-n-Cheese from the store.  I grew up on it.  My mom made the best, and I especially loved it when she put hotdogs in.  Her little trick was smothering the noodles with butter before putting in the milk and cheese powder.  Oh, my, I’ve been overcome by nostalgia!

    But, now that I have developed an affinity for cooking, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of finding healthy alternatives to my childhood favorites.

    The beauty of this cheese sauce is that you can make it to put on anything!  It’s not limited to your noodles.  I’ve put in salsa to create a nacho sauce.  It was so tasty.

    Anyway, here it is!

     * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat)
    * 3/8 teaspoon salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    * 1 cup milk
    Get out a quart-sized saucepan.  Melt the butter in it over medium heat.  When the margarine is completely melted, remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the flour.  It will lump up a little bit, so keep stirring it until it is smooth.  I use a whisk to do this, but a fork will work in a pinch. Add the salt and pepper and return the pan to the heat.  Cook and stir until the flour/margarine mixture bubbles up and sort of sizzles for a moment or two.  This step keeps the sauce from having a “raw” flavor, and also permeates the sauce with the seasonings.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Do it slowly, so it doesn’t lump up.  Lumpy sauce is not the most aesthetically pleasing, although it still tastes pretty good.  So after you stir in the milk, cook the sauce over medium heat until it boils.  Stir it quite often, to prevent it from lumping or burning.  When it boils, cook and stir it for a full minute, and then remove it from the heat.  It is now done.

    Cheese Sauce:  Add 1/2 to 1-cup of shredded or cubed cheese to the sauce after it boils for a minute.  I usually take it off the burner, add the cheese, and cover the pan.  Then I let it sit in the middle of the stove for a minute or two, to soften up the cheese.  Stir it up until the cheese melts.  Serve anywhere you like.

    I have this recipe memorized.

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