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Mac and cheese

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By: Chef Peter Webster

It is getting colder and they are predicting the snow will be flying soon.  It won’t be just a dusting of snow either.  I guess it’s as good as any time to have a little comfort food.

It is surprising to think I have not written about mac and cheese yet in this column.  I grew up on mac and cheese!  I remember my sister making it and never using a béchamel sauce.  She just cooked up the macaroni and put it in this big yellow corning ware bowl, poured milk into the bowl until it came up the side, added cheese and into the oven it went.  Of course, mac and cheese was never eaten without ketchup.

I decided I would reprint the recipe from the first cookbook I ever bought (from my university days – The Doubleday Cookbook – two volumes!  For a hungry student, there was lots of food to go through!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup unsifted flour

1 tsp powdered mustard

2 1/2 cups milk

3 cups coarsely grated Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp finely grated yellow onion (optional)

1/2 lb elbow macaroni, cooked and drained by package directions.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Melt butter in a saucepan over moderate heat, blend in flour and mustard, slowly stir in milk and cook, stirring, until thickened.  Mix in 2 cups grated cheese and all remaining ingredients except cooked macaroni.  Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed. Cook and stir until cheese melts.  Off heat, mix in macaroni, turn into a buttered 2 quart casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered about 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned

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