Macaroni & Cheese for Everyone You Know & Leftovers, too!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

Last night – I had to feed a group of folks and I wasn’t certain of the head count.  One possibility was that 25+ people would show up & expect to leave full.  One reality is that I wanted to do this on a budget.  I ended up making etouffee, red beans and rice & mac-n-cheese.  This mac & cheese recipe produced a MASSIVE amount of decadent pasta.  I fed 18 people with it (remember there were other dishes served, too), sent several people home with some & still have more in the fridge that I will likely not get through.  It is pretty delicious, though.  Next time you have a lotta people to feed – consider this easy & cost effective recipe.

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Macaroni & Cheese for Everyone You Know & Leftovers, too!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES

INGREDIENTS

8 TBS flour

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS ground pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 tsp salt

8 TBS butter

2 bunches scallions, chopped

6 cups milk

6 cups (or more) grated cheddar cheese (or other cheese blend)

16 cups cooked pasta (about 3 or 4 lbs of dry pasta) – macaroni or shells or penne – your call

1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup

1 can Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 can diced green chiles

1 12 oz can sliced jalapenos (jarred always seem too salty for me) – CHOPPED

Several fresh jalapenos – seeded & sliced (optional)

1 pint sour cream (optional)

1 cup plain breadcrumbs (optional)

yellow food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the macaroni until just done.  Drain & set aside.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper & dry mustard in a bowl.  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the chopped scallions & saute until soft.  Add the flour mixture & saute this paste a minute or two.  A little at a time – whisk in the milk.  The paste should become a thick, creamy stock.  Whisking all the milk in without making this blend too watery might take up to 10-15 minutes – so be patient – and stir constantly.  Once all the milk is absorbed & you have a thick sauce, remove this from the heat & stir in the cans of celery & cheddar soup, the green chiles & the chopped canned jalapenos.  Stir in all but a cup of the grated cheese.  Squeeze in some yellow food coloring – if you are using it – until the mix reaches the shade you feel best with.  Reserve a cup or two of this newly blended yellowy goodness & stir the rest in with the cooked pasta.  Grease your cooking container – whether you are using one or several casserole dishes.  I have this awesome 7 quart, Martha Stewart cast iron thing and I love it!  I got it on Ebay – cheap.  Anyway – this recipe made more mac & cheese than could fit in that – so I cooked the rest in a regular sized casserole dish.

Pour the mac & cheese blend into your casserole dish(es) and then pour the reserved melted cheese on top.  If it seems too dry for some reason – feel free to pour some extra milk over the whole thing.  Sprinkle the reserved cup of grated cheese on top & the bread crumbs.  Placed sliced, fresh jalapenos on the very top.  Bake this – COVERED – for 30 minutes or so at 350 & take it out of the oven.  If you want the bread crumbs browned – remove the cover about 10 minutes in.  I preferred that the mac & cheese not get too dry – but this is a personal call.

I added more diced jalapenos – both fresh & canned – but I like things spicy.  I also ground fresh pepper over it.  Let the mac & cheese sit for 5-10 minutes & then serve it.

Cheers~

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

One thought on “Macaroni & Cheese for Everyone You Know & Leftovers, too!

  1. Pingback: FTW Pizza – with Macaroni & Cheese | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

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