Friday, March 11, 2011

Mac & Cheese In the Oven

My kids love homemade macaroni and Cheese and I love that I can make it a little better for them then the stuff out of the box. The secret to healthying (is that even a word) up this dish is tomato juice, but it does not just add a touch of healthy goodness but it adds a level of rich goodness and well it adds that orange color that, for some reason, kids want.

1 box pasta - I like Barilla plus penne
large post of boiling salted water
2 eggs
1 5.5 oz can V8
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup cracker crumbs

Cook the pasta 2 minutes shy of being done. Mean while in a good sized sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter and then add the flour. Cook for 30 seconds to cook the flour taste out of the roux. add in the V8 and the milk, continue to stir the sauce to keep it from burning and getting lumps until it starts to boil. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in 2/3rds of the cheese, sour cream and nutmeg. Mix until all the cheese is melted.

Strain the pasta and stir in 2 beaten eggs then add the sauce and stir until all is well mixed together. Pour the pasta into a baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese and cracker crumbs.

place the mac & cheese in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake until the top is nice a golden anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

If you are making this for adults I found that a little hot pepper sauted in the butter before adding the flour adds a wonderful new level to this dish.

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