Sunday, March 21, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe! You can try substituting part of the cheddar with another cheese to create a slightly different flavor.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

6 T butter
1/4 c plus 2 T flour
4 c milk
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 lb macaroni
3 c (12 oz) extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/3 c parmesan cheese, divided
1 c fresh bread crumbs

1) Melt butter over low heat; add flour and whisk for 3 mins.
2) Add milk, whisking, and bring to a boil.
3) Add dry mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper; simmer until thickened, about 2 mins.
4) In the meantime, boil macaroni for about 7 mins; drain.
5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6) In a large bowl, stir together cheddar, sauce, macaroni and 1 c parmesan; transfer to buttered 3-4 qt gratin dish or 9x13 pan.
7) In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs and 1/3 c parmesan; sprinkle evenly over macaroni.
8) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Onion & Cheddar Biscuit

Another good recipe from Taste of Home magazine! I tripled this recipe for a party, and it made about 16 biscuits. Since I managed to burn the first batch of vinegar and onions, my second batch only had 1/4 c vinegar in it (although everything else was tripled). I could definitely taste the vinegar, so I'm hesitant about adding the full amount next time.

Onion & Cheddar Biscuits

1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
4 T cold butter, divided
1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
1 c all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 c buttermilk

1) In a small skillet, saute onion in 1 T butter until tender.
2) Add vinegar; cook and stir until liquid is mostly evaporated (watch closely!). Let cool.
3) In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and seasonings.
4) Cut remaining butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
5) Add the onion mixture, cheese and green onions.
6) Stir in buttermilk, just until moistened.
7) Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6-8 times.
8) Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness; cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds.
9) Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
10) Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

French Bread

This is a very easy homemade bread recipe from Taste of Home magazine. It makes two huge loaves. Next time I plan to cut the recipe in half to make two smaller loaves. I didn't have any bread flour so I used all-purpose flour, and it worked out fine. I'll try bread flour next time.

French Bread

2 T active dry yeast
2 c warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 to 5 c bread flour
1 tsp cornmeal

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
2) Add the sugar, salt and 2 c flour; beat until smooth.
3) Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough.
4) Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes.
5) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
6) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
7) Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
8) Divide dough in half; shape into 12 in long loaves.
9) Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet.
10) Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 mins.
11) Sprinkle with cornmeal.
12) With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
13) Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.