Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tomato Mac and Cheese

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.


MaryBeth said...

It looks good but was it still gooey and cheesy? Like we talked about, it seems that any time you make yummy creamy and cheesy mac & cheese then bake it the dish dries out and is now no good.

teresa said...

mmmm, isn't it amazing what tomatoes can do! this looks incredible!

The Blonde Duck said...

Isn't it ridiculous! I get so frustrated about our grocery bill. It would be so easy to eat out all the time or buy crap, but I refuse to eat like that and cook most of our meals from scratch. Not only has Ben lost weight, but it's healthier. But it's expensive, so we only eat out once a week! Produce esp. will kill you (price wise)!

I need some mac and cheese to make me feel better.

Amanda- Eating in Winnipeg said...

oh this looks so good! such a great comfort food!

Lyndas recipe box said...

Your mac and cheese looks wonderful Cheryl! I have this recipe but haven't tried it yet. It looks so creamy. Does it reheat very well?
It is expensive to eat homemade, and prices continue to go up.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely recipe. It demands to be treis. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Pam said...

It doesn't seem right that processed/pre-made food is more affordable than fresh food. This mac & cheese looks rich, creamy, and so decadent...nicely done.

Marjie said...

The real expense here is the pounds of cheese. Of course, that's also the real deliciousness of this dish, too....I also contemplate the prices of box vs. fresh foods! All that said, it sounds wonderful.

grace said...

cheese is sooo expensive, but it's one thing on which i'll splurge. butter is another.
awesome mac & cheese twist, cheryl!

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Easter!

Foodiewife said...

Can you tell that I'm finally catching up on reading food blogs?
I so wanted to make this mac 'n cheese! I tagged it when I got that issue of Cook's Country. Now, I really should make it. If you've never seen the movie "Food Inc." it would explain why processed and pre-fab food is cheaper to buy than making from scratch recipes with wholesome ingredients. The processed stuff has a lot of cheap ingredients, and you don't even want to know how the animals are raised and treated! (Can you tell I'm passionate about that?) I might spend 20% for better products, but I feel as though I'm worth taking better care of myself. 'Nuff said. I'm making this. I'm glad that you reminded me!

Cozinhando com Amigos said...

" can't to wait for taste this recipe!!!..yam, yam....Kisses from Brazil!

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

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