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Here I am….better late than never. When I saw the Homesick Texan assignment for this week included mac and cheese, I was excited. That is one dish we have always loved here at Squirrel Head Manor. It’s always, always, been made from scratch…just like my mother did. My father would joke that my Mom had 120 recipes for macaroni and cheese and after the best (THE BEST) one was made, it got lost in the mix of recipe cards with all the other versions.
So she was always trying to duplicate that ONE.
My son grew up eating mac and cheese similar to the way my mother made it. Ooey, gooey cheese and sometimes breadcrumbs. When Tristan was growing up his best friend would come spend the night ....and he hated my mac and cheese….because it wasn’t vibrant orange. Same thing at his buddy’s house though – Tristan didn’t like what his friend’s mom prepared as it was from the Kraft box and was, indeed, very orange with skinny noodles. See…just depends what you grow up with.
Homesick Macaroni and Cheese
Here is how I adapted it to fit in with my time scheduling, ingredients on hand and personal tastes.
A 2 cup measuring cup filled with uncooked macaroni
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 TB butter
2 TB all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cottage cheese
1 teaspoon mustard powder
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of cumin
A bit of cilantro
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups of shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack
1/4 cup of crumbled cotija cheese (optional, but delicious!)
1 tablespoon of butter
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch square or round baking pan with the butter. Cook the pasta for 6 minutes, never mind what the box says.
Melt 2 TB of butter and added chopped garlic. When garlic is soft, add 2 TB all-purpose flour. Mix and slowly add milk. Stir and stir, letting it get thick.
Mix in the cheeses and mustard powder, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth. Pour mixture over dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.
Bake for 20 minutes. Pull it out of the oven aand top with crumbled cotija cheese or you could even use Mexican crumbling cheese.
This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*
Check out the cooking group next week and see another preview of this book. No assignments next week so it will be different recipes - it's a Homesick Texan potluck. Woo-hoo!
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