All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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So – digging around in my fridge, I found a huge bag of real cheese. I have been tapering myself into a nearly vegan diet – especially when I am eating at home – and I don’t even remember buying this cheese but there it was. Right there – on the day after I made a valiant attempt to drink all the Prosecco & red wine on Earth. I watched the so-hilarious 90210 Lifetime movie with a friend and – between us – went through a shocking amount of alcohol. Shocking – I tell you. What was less shocking was how I felt yesterday. I definitely earned every bit of how hideous I felt but I was very grateful 1) to be alive and 2) to find a huge bag in my fridge of what I could melt all over pasta. Oh – I also made roasted potatoes – below.
Carbohydrates & grease. I desperately needed both. So – I indulged in both. The mac & cheese is pretty straightforward & does not really require baking – unless (like me) you want that crispy crust on top. Look at that crust! Mmmmm! There is nothing more I can say about mac & cheese that you don’t already know. So – make some of this shit & shove it in the hole in your heart – like I did. It actually kinda helped. For a few minutes, anyway.
Baked Spinach Mac & Cheese
Serves 4 very well
4 TBS butter (I used vegan butter)
4 TBS flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
1 lb grated cheese (I used real sharp cheddar)
1 LB fresh spinach
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS (or less) cayenne
1-2 cups panko or other bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the pasta for about 1 minute less than the package suggests, drain & set aside.
Melt the butter over med-high heat. Whisk in the flour & then add the milk in small increments – allowing it to thicken each time. Add the Dijon & spices. Whisk to incorporate & then add the cheese – reserving 1/2 cup or more to sprinkle on top later.
Fold in the pasta & spinach.
Grease a casserole pan & put the mac & cheese in there. Top with remaining cheese & panko.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & he bread crumbs are browning.