Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Sausage
Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
6 ounces shredded cheese (we like cheddar)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if serving immediately). Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour, whisking quickly to make a paste (you're making a roux). Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, continuing to whisk until thickened. Ass the cheese, salt and pepper, whisking until smooth. Stir in the cooked and drained macaroni. Scrape both into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. COVER AND FREEZE. Pull out and completely thaw. (Pull out the DAY BEFORE you wish to serve it. It takes a while to thaw.) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Pull out and sprinkle with cheese. Put back in and let bake another five minutes. Let stand ten minutes before serving.
Serve with smoked sausage. We always get beef smoked sausage. I slice it up (diagonally) and just pan fry it on the stovetop to make it all brown and a little crunchy because that's how my kids love it. When I'm prepping in advance for a freezer meal I cut up the sausage ahead but wait to brown it off the day I serve it. You could brown off ahead, I just don't.
I serve with fresh veggies and fresh fruit. I make a lettuce salad for Eric because he can't handle NOT having a salad with dinner. (It's how he grew up and makes him feel like he's eating healthier. Not me, dinner's not complete without pop in my opinion.) I always dread making his salad. It took so much time to cut up all the different veggies. Well... I came up with a solution that makes me less grumpy. I cut up a bunch of veggies early in the week and put them in Gladware. Then I just pull out and adorn the salad. I don't cut up the lettuce and tomato ahead because they get GROSS, but everything else keeps nicely for days.
Source: Naomi's Home Companion, by Naomi Judd
Tonight we're having Chicken Fajitas!