Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post – Easy, Cheesy Macaroni

My husband Chris (aka One Hungry Dude) is back again with another delicious recipe. This time it’s his best mac and cheese – and who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This is a great recipe for veggies and meat lovers to share since it’s easy to just add the bacon on at the end for those who want it. I promise that you are going to love this meal!

It's probably no surprise to anyone reading this, but my wife and I are fans of the Food Network. One of my favourite shows is Chef at Home, starring Chef Michael Smith. His show is so appealing, because of its focus on simple, yet delicious meals. It irks me when celebrity chefs stress a recipe as quick and easy to prepare; something that only really holds true when you have a pantry full of ingredients. I've seen macaroni and cheese recipes that call for everything from Cream of Tartar and Mustard Powder to a blend of four or five cheeses that most families simply don't have in stock. But Smith encourages viewers to put their own take on his recipes, while teaching the fundamentals for preparing a tasty meal.

This macaroni and cheese stays true to those ideals, and was inspired by an old family recipe. It uses only a few ingredients, and is incredibly simple to prepare. But I promise, it's packed with flavour. A home cook on a tight budget, with only a few staple ingredients in the cupboard, can prepare this hearty and wholesome meal.

 mac and cheese 2
• 3 cups of macaroni elbows
• 5 large button mushrooms, roughly chopped
• 7 Tbsp margarine
• 1/2 Tsp lemon juice
• Splash of Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Cheddar cheese, cut in enough slices to cover two layers of macaroni
• 2 cups of milk
• 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
• Sprinkle of parsley

Heat oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted water to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce the heat to medium, add the macaroni, and cook until tender.

In a frying pan, melt one tbsp of the margarine over medium heat. Once the margarine is melted, toss the mushrooms in the pan and sauté, with salt, pepper, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce for about five minutes. Drain the macaroni, then mix with the mushrooms.

Add half of the mixture to a greased casserole or CorningWare dish. Place enough cheese slices onto the macaroni to cover, then place half of the remaining margarine on top of the cheese. Repeat this process, using the remaining mixture, cheese and margarine. Pour milk over the macaroni. Cover and place in the oven for about an hour, removing the lid after 30 minutes. After the macaroni has been in the oven for about 40 minutes, check to make sure the milk is bubbling. Run a fork along the edges of the macaroni, to break the bubbles and ensure the mixture doesn't boil over. Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, then serve. Add parsley and bacon on top of each helping, for garnish.

mac and cheese 1
This is one of my favourite comfort food recipes. It's easy, and the ingredients utilize a few of the staples in our kitchen. This recipe yields about eight servings.

1 comment:

  1. I am soooo trying this tonight! I have all the ingredients in the house and I am craving some comfort so this will be perfect. Looks yummy!
    (Lisa in Moncton)