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Volume II
July 30, 2004

Rick's Better than Best Mac-n-Cheese

         Don't be surprised to find this recipe to be full and hearty unlike the runny box kind. You can eat this version with a fork and chew it with your teeth, lol. As a kid, my mom made this kind of mac & cheese as I remember. I make this recipe 2-3 times a month and I wanted to share this with everybody only because I think it's the best baked macaroni and cheese dish I've ever eaten. I think it's the slightly undercooked shells that make this version so good. It's far better than the elbow macaroni version. It has so much more body and flavor to it.

         I also included brand names because I've found that particular brands just seem to have a better flavor or make the outcome of a particular recipe just right. Ronco makes an excellent macaroni product and Bordens has wonderful cheese, just to name a few, but Barilla and Kraft seem to make this recipe just right. Anyway, please give it a try and if you find this not to be the best macaroni and cheese dish you've ever eaten than please give me your recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese Plus Cheese
Makes about 6-8 servings

2 1/4 cups Barilla medium shells
3 cups Kraft Mild Cheddar Finely Shredded Cheese
2 cups Kraft Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese

7/8 cup whole milk
1/4 stick Land O Lakes Sweet Cream Butter
1 tablespoon Argo 100% Corn Starch
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Under cook the shells a minute or two than immediately rinse, drain, and let cool.

2. The Rue: In a small sauce pan add milk, butter, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. (Save about a 1/4 cup of the milk to mix the cornstarch with.) Bring to a very slow boil on medium low heat stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool some.

3. Now preheat your oven to 350.

4 .In a large bowl or the pot you cooked the shells in, mix the 3 cups cheddar cheese AND a half cup of sharp to macaroni shells well. Now add the rue and stir until all is well blended.

5. Pour this into a casserole dish and cover the top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and bake, uncovered, for about 50 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven and serve. It also goes great with broiled chicken and steamed broccoli. Enjoy.

NOTE: You can experiment by flavoring the rue with powdered garlic and/or onion to taste and/or cumin/chili powder if you like it spicy hot. Personally, I've found no flavorings that work well.


Rick Hargraves

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Rick's Better than Best Mac-n-Cheese
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