College Cooking Tips
That's pronounced Roo, like Kanga and....
This recipe gives good instructions for making a roux which will be the starting point that will enable you to make all sorts of great sauces and soups and gravy. It's the element that controls the thickening of the liquid. Memorize the steps for making a roux and you'll use it often.
Real Mac & Cheese
Heat oven to 350°
Grate 5 cups of cheddar cheese and set aside.
(If you use sharp cheddar you can use 4 cups instead)
Make a Roux:
In a large, heavy frying pan melt together:
- 1/2 cube of butter
- 3 Tbs canola or olive oil
Be careful not to use high heat or you’ll burn the butter.
Once it has melted and warmed add:
- 1/2 cup flour
Use a wire whip to break up and separate the flour lumps. Stir constantly.
The flour needs to cook in the butter and oil without burning. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
At this point you have made a Roux. A Roux can be used as a thickener in gravies and sauces.
In a separate pan:
Sauté 1 large finely diced onion in 2 Tbs. butter. (look here if you haven't sliced up an onion before)
Stir the sautéed onion into the roux.
Put hot roux/onion mix on medium heat and add:
- 4 cups (1 quart) milk – (chicken broth may be used instead of milk)
Stir vigorously with wire whip to break up flour lumps.
The sauce will begin to thicken in about 8-10 minutes.
Keep stirring with the whip, making sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Once it thickens you can add:
5 cups of grated cheddar cheese.
Stir as you add the cheese by the handful.
Once the cheese has melted into the sauce add:
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic-mashed (short video on using fresh garlic)
- 1 Tbs. chicken bouillon concentrate
- 1 tsp. black pepper
Continue to stir the cheese sauce until all ingredients are mixed together.
Take off the heat and set aside.
Cook & drain noodles. See "How to Cook Pasta"
Cook 1 1b of pasta.
NOTE that your grocery list said 2 lbs of Elbow Macaroni. You saved money and have a back up dinner on the pantry shelf when you bought a 2lb package. Just cook 1 lb for this mac & cheese recipe.
Once the noodles are cooked, pour the sauce over the noodles.
If it looks like the mixture needs more moisture stir in a cup of milk.
It’s better to have extra moisture before putting the dish in the oven, because the noodles will soak up some of the cheese sauce.
Grease a 9 x13 inch pan and pour in the mac and cheese.
Option: Top with 1 cup of breadcrumbs – see "Homemade Breadcrumbs"
You can also add: chopped ham or chicken, steamed broccoli or braised greens...or crab or shrimp or tuna.
To make it extra rich for a gathering of friends add: 1 cup of sour cream before baking. It will make it much richer. This makes it party food but is not necessary for a regular dinner.
Bake 40 minutes at 350°.Print This Post