Sorry (not really), Blue Box Mac-n-Cheese. It is the from scratch variety, and particularly from my mom's recipe collection, that I prefer. Hands down.
The secret ingredients to this version: onion and white pepper. Delicious! I once took this dish to a potluck in Tennessee, where Macaroni and Cheese is sacred. It was thankfully very well received and a raving success.
So if you are in the mood for macaroni and cheese, try making it from scratch!
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to suit personal taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (more or less to suit personal taste)
- 3 cups (12 ounces) extra sharp cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare 1.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente (firm bite); drain. (NOTE: since the cheese sauce will be added and then baked with the pasta, more moisture will absorb into the macaroni. What some may view as undercooking just a tad will yield a better end product.)
- Melt butter in large saucepan.
- Add onion to melted butter and cook until translucent, approximately 3 - 5 minutes.
- Blend in flour until well combined.
- Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to remove any flour lumps.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thick (just to boiling point).
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Combine sauce with macaroni and turn into baking dish.
- Bake approximately 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.
- Allow to cool 10-15 minutes prior to serving. This will allow the cheese sauce time to 'set.'