I think developed my love of all things cheese between 6th and 8th grades. Most nights, if left to my own devices, I’d have chips and queso, grilled cheese or mac & cheese for dinner. How I managed not to enter high school as an akward, seriously overweight teen is beyond me. If I were to eat like this now, you’d have to grease doors to get me through them. These days if I’m craving some comforting mac & cheese, I check my guilt at the door and dig into the full fat versions. But now, thanks again to Cooking Light, I have found a lower fat recipe that is delish. I’m a mac & cheese purist, so I omitted some of the jazz-it-up ingredients. It very well could be mindblowing with these additions, but I’ll leave that for someone else to discover.
Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni & Chese (from Cooking Light)
4 c. uncooked medium elbow macaroni
3 T all-purpose flower
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 1/4 c. fat free milk
1/4 c. (2 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (omitted from my version)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (omitted from my version)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (omitted from my version)
1 1/4 c. (5 oz.) shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
While pasta cooks, place flour, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Drop cream cheese by teaspoonfuls into milk mixture, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until thick and cream cheese melts, stirring occassionally. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire and garlic. Simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese melts. Combine pasta and cheese sauce in a large bowl. Toss well.
Yields 6 (1 1/2 c.) servings.