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Evil but easy macaroni and cheese

Submitted by on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 No Comment

I had a great scam going for two years, until a babysitter made Big Guy boxed macaroni and cheese without mashed broccoli, cluing him in for the first time that the “natural” color of stuff is  orange.

He started pleading for “just orangine makamoki cheese,” though I ignored him and pretended green was the only way I knew how to cook it.

To this day, broccoli’s one of the few vegetables he eats with minimal fuss, though I do add paprika and turmeric to all macaroni and cheese  to replicate that coveted boxed Kraft color now that the boxe has been evicted from the kitchen in a dye purge. I thought I was the only parent on Earth who “dyes” mac and cheese until a friend mentioned that she does it, too, for visiting children unaccustomed to the natural hue.

As homemade mac and cheese goes, this is not my favorite. That honor goes to one made with a simple cheese sauce, broccoli added, of course. But when it comes to quick preparation and a lot less clean-up, this recipe is just fine.

  • l 3/4 c. chicken broth – that’s a 14-ounce can for folks not living in the “might be contaminated with garlic” world
  • l c.  plus 2 tablespoons uncooked elbow macaroni — check the label if you’re dealing with an egg allergy. This didn’t used to be a huge issue with dried brands, but I’m seeing more contamination warnings pop up, unfortunately mainly among whole-grain products.
  • 3/4 c.  evaporated milk
  • 2 tbl. butter, cut up
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. each paprika and turmeric — neither is necessary unless you’re trying to sell the dish to a kid mourning the loss of the orange stuff in a box.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • l 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. mashed broccoli

Heat over to 350 degrees. In a medium-size baking dish (about 8 x l0 inches) combine broth, macaroni, evaporated milk, butter, flour, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Stir after 15 minute and again after 30 minutes.  At some point during the stirring process, you will freak out because you can’t imagine how that congealed lump will ever result in anything edible. Trust me: It will. Keep going.

Remove from over; stir in broccoli and cheese until melted.  Serve immediately.

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Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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