Almost 100% Local Mac & Cheese

I wanted something fast and comforting last night for dinner. It was about 15 degrees, windy, and snowing hard.

I looked in the fridge for inspiration and found some of the yummiest cheddar and a jug of milk (we need to do some grocery shopping, soon!). The cheddar I picked up at the Farmer’s Market at the new Denver Urban Homesteading building. The cheese is a local raw milk cheese. I love sharp cheddar, and this is deliciously tangy. While there last Saturday I also picked up a jug of Morning Fresh Farm‘s Cream Top milk. I also had some local butter in the fridge.

The only non-local things I used were some flour, the pasta, and salt.

Almost 100% Local Mac (or Shells) & Cheese

2T flour
2T butter
1 1/2 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese (more or less to taste, I forgot to measure.)
2-3 cups cooked pasta
this really depends on how hungry you are and how much sauce you like, I prefer a greater sauce to pasta ratio than N does.

I really don’t understand why Kraft Mac & Cheese became so pervasive. OK, I do, but once you make mac & cheese from scratch you’ll never really look at that blue box the same way again.

First, I always but a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. The sauce is seriously fast and will be done by the time your pasta is done.

Next, you need to make a roux. This sounds intimidating, but it’s not and it’ll make the cheddar sauce much smoother.
To start the roux, melt 2T butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the 2T flour and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly with a whisk. You’ll notice the butter and flour mix gets all nice and bubbly. After about 2 minutes of stirring (you don’t want the flour to burn!) pour in the milk. Let the milk get all nice and warm, but not boiling, and add the cheese in and whisk until the cheese melts in. The sauce should thicken up nicely, but it may take about 3 minutes or so of cooking after the cheese is added. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Your pasta should be done around the time the sauce is if you started the water boiling before starting the sauce. Drain the pasta, fill your bowl and top with cheesy goodness, and enjoy!

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