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Rachael’s Macaroni & Cheddar Cheese

Recipe Courtesy of Rachael Ray

…this one is for Emma out in the Blogosphere (oh, and it’s tasty, too!)!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, a couple pinches Salt (kosher, of course!)
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it

Instructions

Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts into the oil, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time. Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce. Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.

My 2 Cents: I love this recipe, but in true Merri form, I tend to alter things a bit. I can’t always get white cheddar locally, so I’ve substituted other types of cheddar with success. I imagine that other cheeses can be substituted easily, too. One other thing - it is a *must* to put ground black pepper with my macaroni and cheese - can’t seem to get over that. So….I usually add ground black pepper at the same time I’m adding the cayenne and nutmeg.

Thanks for the idea to post this recipe, Emma! …and thanks, Rachael!

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