the crisp air and fall feeling of my day has inspired me to change my post at the last minute. i had planned to touch on the wonders of baking soda...but i want to share one of my all time (and now my hubby's as well...) simple vegetarian recipes perfect for this time of year: kickin' mac & cheese! not only is it tasty, but it warms you all over and fills you up.
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter (divided in half)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
6 teaspoons green Tabasco sauce (this is the magical ingredient; if you are unsure if you can handle the spice, use 2 teaspoons and garnish finished serving as desired)
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (not quite as critical as the sauce, but just as sassy)
1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chili powder
- preheat oven to 375 degrees
- bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or as directed by package for al dente; drain.
- in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. whisk in flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. gradually whisk in milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. bring to a gentle boil, again stirring constantly. boil for 1 minute - lower heat to lowest setting. whisk in pepper jack, cheddar, and Parmesan until smooth. stir in cooked pasta and pour into shallow 2 quart baking dish.
- melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. (you may wish to use 3 tablespoons butter depending on how saturated you want your crumbs to be.) stir in bread crumbs and chili powder. sprinkle over macaroni.
- bake for 38 minutes. let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.