Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Here's a simplified version of one of my favorite meals. This mac and cheese recipe, inspired by Donna Elick is prepared in about 20 minutes. Make this in an oven worthy skillet as you are putting this dish together on top of the stove and finishing by melting the cheese under your broiler. This means there's only one pot to wash.
 Buy your cheese already grated to save time. Use frozen broccoli for added convenience. Throw in some left over cooked chicken and this can become your main dish for dinner at the end of a crazy busy day. If you're looking for the great taste that home cooked, real food provides, then continue reading this easy recipe after the jump...
Photo courtesy of  Parade.


Serves 4 people*
4 tbl butter
1/2 tsp dried Chile pepper
1/2 tsp salt, & 1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups of milk for cooking macaroni, & an additional 2 tbl of milk to create a "slurry" with flour for thickening
8 oz. dried elbow macaroni
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
12 oz. of shredded cheddar, (8 oz. for cooking, 4 oz. for covering the top of your ingredients for under the broiler finishing)
2 tbl all purpose flour ( used to create the "slurry")

1. In your oven proof skillet, melt the butter, add the salt pepper and dried Chile pepper. Stir to combine. 
2. Add the 3 cups of milk and cover the pan. 
3. When the milk starts bubbling, add the macaroni. Allow to bubble for 4 or 5 minutes until the pasta is almost cooked, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the broccoli and stir to combine. Continue to let bubble for about 2 minutes.
In the meantime, shake up 2 tbl flour and 2 tbl milk (slurry) in a small resealable jar. This is used to thicken your mac and cheese. Set aside.
5. Preheat your oven to broil. Add 8 oz. of cheese to your pasta mixture. Stir to combine. Add the slurry mixture and stir again.
6. Sprinkle with the remaining 4 oz. of grated cheese. Place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!!

*As always, this recipe is intended to be a guide only. Use your imagination to vary this dish. Use rigatoni or pasta spirals if that's what you have on hand. Add some meat, for example chopped cooked chicken to make it more of a dinner. Vary the cheese according to taste and what you have on hand. Quality Swiss cheese melts into a stringy texture, great to combine with the cheddar in your pasta mixture. Full flavored cheeses ( hard cheese) can be combined with cheddar for the top of your dish. You decide!

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