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Now that we’re back in the city and away from the loveliness of Wolf Den, I thought we could all use a few reminders.  This is the Mac n’ Cheese recipe that Tim, Joe, Phil, Alex, John and I made for everyone on Sunday evening.  (Caitlin and Peter were on corn duty which deserves a big mention too!  60 ears of corn takes a lot of shucking.)

This recipe has been scaled down from Lindystock proportions, but if you really want to make it to feed 60 people, let me know and I’ll hook you up with my mad arithmetic for scaling.

Lindystock Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour (wheat or brown rice)
2 Cups Milk
3 -4 Cups Grated Cheese divided (Any cheese that melts well is fine)*
Paprika, Salt and Pepper
4 Cups uncooked Elbow Pasta
½ Cup Bread Crumbs

Optional Add-ins:

Meat option:  6-8 slices of Bacon sliced into small pieces and cooked, 6 green onions chopped into thin rounds.

Vegetarian option:  4 tomatoes diced (remove seeds), 8 basil leaves sliced finely.

You really can add anything you like though–cooked green peas, ham, sauteed onion, bell pepper–just make sure not to overwhelm the pasta.

Method:

1.  Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Preheat oven to 375F.
2.  While boiling water begin the cheese sauce:  melt butter in a large saucepan, add flour and mix till smooth.  Cook for 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
3.  Begin slowly adding milk.  Don’t be suprised when the mixture suddenly thickens up a bit (almost mashed potato consistency)–keep on stirring and slowly adding milk.  It will thin out.  Be patient here!
4.  When the water boils add your pasta–follow whatever cooking instructions there are on the packet or…I dunno, fling it against your ceiling to check for doneness? Drain and return to pot or to vessel in which you will bake the mac n’ cheese.
5.  Once you have incorporated all of your milk and the mixture is quite warm begin to add your cheese a handful at a time stirring until it melts.
6.  When you have melted all of the cheese into your sauce season with paprika (mostly for colour) salt and pepper.  Taste to adjust seasoning.
7.  Pour sauce over pasta, stir in add-ins if using, mix until cheese sauce coats everything evenly.  Transfer to casserole dish.  Sprinkle the top with reserved cheese (about a ½ cup) and breadcrumbs.
8. Bake on middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown (and delicious).

Serves 6ish.

*If you use a stronger flavoured cheese you can get away with using less cheese, milder usually requires more to taste cheesy.

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