Macaroni and Cheese
This homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is courtesy of dear friend Ali and though my kids initially did not like the “homemade version” they now LOVE IT. I like making this recipe in my Le Creuset braiser as it can go from stove top right to the oven. Served on the side with protein and vegetables.
- 1 450 g pkg favourite dry pasta
- 4 cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 cups old cheddar cheese grated approx. 250 grams or 9 oz
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- Option: add a vegetable - 1/2 cup strained tomatoes, 1 cup frozen peas or cooked broccoli
- Cook pasta to an al dente texture according to instructions on the package and rinse in a colander under cold water to stop cooking.
- In a large saucepan bring milk and bay leaf just to a boil and set aside so the flavour can infuse.
- In a large dutch oven or brasier melt the butter. Add chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes until translucent - approximately 5 minutes.
- Add flour one tablespoon at a time and whisk constantly over low heat until combined. Do not brown. Add a ladle of milk with each additional tablespoon of flour if mixture becomes too thick.
- Continue adding a ladle of warm milk and whisking after each addition to ensure there are no clumps. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Once all milk has been added and the sauce has thickened add paprika and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and turn off heat.
- Slowly add the grated cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Taste and season with extra salt or pepper as necessary.
- Mix cheese sauce together with pasta and stir in optional vegetables.
- Pour into your 9 x 13 inch baking dish or keep in your brasier. It will seem like a lot of sauce. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 – 30 mins, until top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Just before dinner bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 mins, until top is golden and bubbly.