Friday, December 17, 2010
Cheesy Noodle Casserole (aka Mac n Cheese) ~ 12.17.10
My family loves macaroni and cheese. The twins ask for it about 5 out of the 7 days in a week. And whenever we're out... they want to order it!
I'm all for quick and simple this time of year. I've barely enough time to rub two cents together let alone make dinner, but make dinner, I must! And I will.
I've had this Taste of Home recipe for sometime now and first made it way back when for a birthday party. It was easy to make and really quite cheesy and yummy. That said, it has one of my least favorite food stuffs in it: processed cheese. sigh. But it does taste really good in this and occasionally, I'll heat it up and add some salsa and make Mr. Crafty our favorite treat: queso with chips.
This recipe is flexible in the noodles you use, too. The original called for wide egg noodles, but I made it on Sunday and used elbows. Remember, use what you have! You don't always have to go and buy a new ingredient if you have something similiar in your pantry already.
Also, this makes enough for a BIG crowd, so adjust by halving the recipe and you'll have plenty. I used 8oz of elbows when I made it and wished I had used the whole box! My adaptations are in parenthesis.
Cheesy Noodle Casserole
adapted from Taste of Home Oct/Nov. 2003
2 1# pkgs wide egg noodles (elbows or shells are great!)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp garlic salt
1tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
5-6 cup milk (I used a can of evaporation milk and the rest 2% milk)
2 # processed cheese, cubed (like Velveeta or store brand easy melt cheese in the block)
Topping: 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs + 2 Tbs melted butter- mix together and sprinkle on top
or halve grape tomatoes and arrange around the casserole- my personal fave!
Cook noodles to package directions, drain.
In dutch oven (read: large pot with handles or whatever), melt butter.
Stir (whisk is better- it forms a bit of a paste or roux) in flour and salts and dry mustard
Gradually whisk in the milk until all incorporated.
Bring to a boil.
Cook & stir 2 min or until thick and bubbly.
Add cheese and stir until melted.
Stir in noodles and pour into 2 greased shallow 2 qt baking dishes
Add your topping of choice: bread crumbs mixed with butter or sliced tomatoes!
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling around the edges.