Growing up, homemade mac & cheese was a semi-regular menu item at our house. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the first version, which had cubes of cheddar cheese tossed with the macaroni. I was a child, so I most likely was being picky and didn’t appreciate the big bursts of cheddar throughout the dish. Luckily for me, in my early teens my mom was given a different recipe from a friend, which I adored. A combination of colby and cheddar cheeses were made into a sauce that made a silky coating for the macaroni.
As a parent, I have made only version two for my children, which actually is their favorite type of macaroni and cheese. Of course, they also eat the stuff that comes in the blue box, but that is a make-it-themselves sort of lunch. If they ask for mac and cheese for dinner, they always are requesting my homemade dish.
I have made a couple changes to my mom’s recipe. Her recipes specifies “nucoa” as the fat in the recipe. I use unsalted butter as a tastier substitute. I also have eliminated the colby and replaced it with more sharp cheddar. Everyone seems to prefer the stronger bite of flavor it provides. Of course, you could try your own combination of cheeses. We have been known to add mozzarella for more gooey-ness and blue cheese for additional depth of flavor.
Mom’s Mac & Cheese, Version 2
3 Tb. unsalted butter
3 Tb. flour
2 cups milk
8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add flour and stir until golden, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly until it begins to boil. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Combine macaroni and cheese sauce in dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.