I was in the mood for comfort food and what came to mind was mac & cheese… homemade mac & cheese. Tonight it was served more as a side dish accompanying pork chops with steamed broccoli.
Originally, macaroni was consumed largely by the upper class, as a majority of the pasts was made in Europe. A few factories existed within the United States, but not enough for wide-spread distribution. After the American Civil War, more pasta-producing factories opened. This allowed the price to drop, and macaroni became available to the working class.
In 1937, Kraft Foods introduced the Kraft Dinner, macaroni noodles with a cheese sauce. The dinner has become radically popular.
Macaroni and Cheese remains a common food today. Kraft remains the most prominent distributor of boxed Macaroni and Cheese. Kraft also makes a variation of its boxed Macaroni and Cheese dinner as “Easy Mac,” which requires less detailed preparation, is microwavable, and has a lengthy shelf life. Here is my recipe for MJC Mac & Cheese:
2 cups dried macaroni, cooked al dente
1/4 stick of butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup half & half
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack & Colby shredded cheese blend
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cups Monterey Jack & Colby shredded cheese blend
1/4 cup panko Japanese breadcrumbs
In a sauce pan, melt butter.
Add flour and stir, cooking about 1-2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in half & half and let it thicken.
Take off heat and slowly add the 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
Place cooked macaroni in a large bowl or pot it was cooked in.
Add the cheese sauce to the macaroni; stir.
Stir in garlic powder and parsley; combine thoroughly.
Grease baking dish and add mac & cheese.
Spread evenly in dish.
Combine remaining cheese & breadcrumbs.
Top mac & cheeese with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
Let it stand about 15 minutes to firm up.
* I served this with garlic pork chops (pan fried) & steamed broccoli.
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