The minute I saw this recipe in my Cooks Country Magazine I knew I would have to make it. What a great combination cheese and tomato. I have to say it i s the most delicious, flavorful Macaroni and Cheese I have ever eaten.
The other thing that struck me (other than the fact it is full of fat), was that it was pretty expensive to make. I had to purchase all the ingredients, and the final cost to make the dish was $11.93 and that was me buying sale and store brand items. This versus the less than a dollar for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
It is cheaper to eat boxed, canned or pre-made meals than it is to purchase the ingredients fresh and make them yourself. That just seems wrong to me. As I was shopping I was comparing various items pre-made versus freshly made and it seemed to be a trend that pre-made is cheaper, thus the folks who are trying to make ends meet end up with those rather than freshly made and hopefully more healthful food.
Things I think about...
Here is the recipe......
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 28 oz can Petite diced tomatoes
6 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
4 cups half and half
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Adjust oven rack to middle position an heat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tbl salt to boil, cook noodles until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot.
Pour diced tomatoes with their juices over pasta and stir to coat. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cayenne and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half and half and broth until smooth.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses, 1 tsp salt and 1 teaspoon pepper until cheeses melt.
Pour over macaroni and stir to combine. Scrape mixture into a large baking dish (I sprinkled additional Cayenne pepper over the mixture) and bake until top begins to brown 15 to 20 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes or so before serving.