“Grown Up” Mac and Cheese

 

I don’t know about you, but I have always loved macaroni and cheese.  My mom never made “box” mac and cheese, so when I grew up and had a family of my own, I always made homemade too.  I always think of this dish as the classic comfort food.  I am going to be honest here.  I used to cut up hot dogs, stir them in and bake it in the oven.  Offer up a little side salad, and that was dinner.  It was always very busy in our household.  When my kids were young, I was working as a preschool teacher and teaching aerobics at a local gym 3-5 days a week.  We had after school sports (practice, games etc.).  I’m sure this sounds all too familiar to so many!!

Flash forward, and I still love this delicious comfort food.  I love adding tomatoes or cooked broccoli (whatever veggie you like).  This mac and cheese is a twist on my classic recipe.  I added scallions, olive oil, water, and lemon juice.  Also, I use shredded cheddar instead of gruyere.  Let’s get started:)!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of your favorite pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (18 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (27 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, white part only
  • 1/4 cup water (59 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar gruyere cheese (110 grams)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta and set aside while you make the (roux) bechamel sauce.

Melt the butter over a medium/high heat in a small saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk to make a paste.  Continue to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly, until the raw flour aroma is gone.  Take the roux off the heat and set aside.

Add the olive oil and scallions to a large skillet and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until the scallions have softened.  Increase the temperature and add the water and milk to the olive oil/scallion mixture.  Bring to a simmer and whisk in the roux.  Continue to cook until the bechamel becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Take mixture off the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice and season (to taste).

Add the cheese mixture to the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

I added sliced cherry tomatoes and sprinkled seasoned panko bread crumbs on top.  This is optional, but I highly recommend it!  Enjoy!!

I hope you make this delicious “grown up” mac and cheese.  If you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I’d love to hear from you and see your photos!

 

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