Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The ultimate in comfort food

After spending Sunday at the beach flying kites, it's now suddenly comfort food weather. And this one tops my list of favorites. The nutmeg and onion add subtle background flavor, but should not even be really recognizable.

Bakes Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb. elbow noodles, cooking according to package directions (if the package give a range of minutes, cook for the shortest time recommended as the noodles will cook slightly more in the oven)
1 small onion (or half a large onion), diced
3 T butter, divided
2 T flour
2 cups milk
1 lb. Velveta cheese, diced
Ends of whatever other cheese is in the fridge
fresh nutmeg to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a baking dish (see Note below) with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt 1 T butter in a small fry pan and saute onion until very soft. Set aside.
Melt remaining butter and whisk in flour, continuing to whisk over medium heat for a minute or two. Continue whisking while adding in milk (to remove any possible lumps). Bring to a simmer and add Velveta, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted. Add any other bits of cheese you have in the 'fridge (this time I had a handful of cheddar and mozzarella, parm and provolone). Continue stirring until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix together noodles, onion, cheese and nutmeg (I used probably 15 or so scrapes of a fresh nutmeg). Pour into baking dish and bake, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Note: Some people really like the crunchy top parts of the mac and cheese. Others prefer the soft inside parts of the mac and cheese. If your family likes the former, bake in a big flat dish -- more top means more crunchy -- and vice versa.

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