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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese (or Regular Mac and Cheese)

It's been a long winter.  Sub-zero days have given way to cold rainy days.  Sometimes it's hard to resist the siren's call of comfort food.  Such was the case tonight - after a week of healthy turkey leftovers from Easter it was time for something different.  I made a batch of gluten-free macaroni and cheese.  It turns out that this is one recipe that adapts very easily.    I just took a standard recipe for a bechamel-based mac and cheese and used gluten free flour and pasta.  Much to my surprise, the bechamel cooked up fine with the gluten-free flour.  It comes out tasting as good as the standard kind.  If you aren't avoiding gluten, just use wheat flour and macaroni.

Macaroni and Cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease a 9 x 13" casserole dish.   Start a pot of water boiling.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour (regular or gluten free)
2 cups milk
10-12 oz grated cheese (I've used cheddar or smoked gouda)
salt and pepper to taste
12 oz macaroni (regular or gluten free)
optional - seasonings (paprika, dried mustard, hot sauce, chipotle powder, or whatever sounds good)

Make the bechamel base.  Heat butter in pan until it just starts to brown.  Add flour and whisk it in.  Continue stirring and cook until it is starts to smell slightly toasty. Add milk gradually and whisk it in.  It will become clumpy initially and then smooth out.  Stirring it frequently, bring it to a boil and cook for 4 minutes.  It will thicken up.  Add most of the cheese and stir it in until melted, and season to taste.  Reserve a bit of the cheese to put on top. 

While you are cooking the sauce, boil the macaroni until it is al dente.  Drain and add it to the sauce.  Transfer mixture to the casserole dish and cook for 20 minutes and then put it under the broiler for a few minutes if you want it browned.

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