How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mac & Cheese, Please!

Although she does occasionally find other forms of sustenance, our vegetarian daughter is mainly a pastaterian, subsisting for days on noodles in various forms. In trying to apply some of the lessons she has been learning in health classes, though, she is interested in having a lot less "box food" in her diet, and we are delighted to encourage this. We were especially glad to be rid of "Easy Mac" but have also decided to cut back on the regular powdered varieties of mac & cheese as well.

I have almost always augmented the powered versions with real cheese, but I have still welcomed the opportunity to explore other ways of concocting this ultimate comfort food. I learned years ago that simply dumping cheese in with cooked macaroni does not work, as the cheese simply slides off the noodles. We turned -- as readers of this blog know we often do -- to 365 Ways to Cook Pasta, which includes several variations on a recipe called "Your Basic Macaroni and Cheese" on page 16. We did not try the variations -- which involved either meat or things we did not have on hand -- and simply undertook the basic recipe. It calls for heating and whisking together butter, milk, flour, and mustard and adding cooked macaroni to this sauce.

The mixture is topped with bread crumbs and baked. Rather than using the commercial bread crumbs I keep on hand for such recipes, I followed the instructions. I have to admit that I had doubted the outcome, but it turned out well. I simply tore up a piece of hearty sandwich bread, pulsed it in the blender for a few seconds, and then cooked it in butter on the stove top. The result was a very comfortable bit of comfort food for the family and a guest.

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