Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese for a Crowd

My kids and grandson are coming over tomorrow to have lunch, hot tub and SKYPE with Josh and Jess in Germany.  I wanted to make something for lunch that could be put in the crock pot on low while we were at church and would be ready for us when we got home.  I also had an abundance of spaghetti noodles, cheese and milk so I decided to make a family favorite...homemade mac and cheese. :)

In a large stockpot boil a 2 pound package of spaghetti noodles until fully cooked and then drain them. In the same pot (because I am lazy and I am going to need to blend the sauce and noodles together before putting them in the crock pot) melt a stick of butter and add 1 cup of all purpose flour to it to make a roux.  Cook that off for several minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste and then whisk in 4 cups of chicken broth, a little at a time.  You should have a fairly thick sauce at this point.  Add enough milk to make a nice medium but not pasty sauce (you are making a medium white sauce at this point) and then add about 6 shakes of hot sauce to it.  From there stir in 1 pound of cheddar cheese, cut up in cubes to help it melt faster and more evenly.  Cook for a few minutes and then take off the heat and add your drained noodles to it.  Stir it all together.  If it seems to thick you can add a bit more milk to the mixture and stir it in well so it is creamy and not "gummy".  Coat your crock pot with non stick cooking spray and then put your mac and cheese in the crock pot.  You can either cook it right now in the crock pot on low for about an hour and add some shredded cheese on top or you can do like I am and let it cool then put in in the fridge and pull it out the next day.  I'll put it in the crock pot on low before we head to church in the morning.  We will be gone about 2 1/2  hours with travel time and service time so it should be hot when we get home.  I'll just add some shredded cheddar on top and let it melt.  You could also just bake this off in the oven at 375F for about an hour (covered with foil) and add your shredded cheese for the last 10 minutes of so (uncovered).  Easy and oh so good!

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