Tuesday was a bitterly cold day here in southwest Ohio, the second of two heavy snowfalls imminent, and I was craving macaroni and cheese. I normally make a reduced-fat version (https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/shannons-macaroni-and-cheese/) but on a day like this, I wanted all of the cheese I could get. I came up with this version which my daughters and I really enjoyed.
1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained Preheat oven to 350 degrees F In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper. Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Lillian’s Macaroni and Cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
A few grindings of black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.
Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
The macaroni was served with chicken breast which had been sprinkled with olive oil and herbs, and baked a covered pan at the same time as the macaroni casserole. We also had some steamed broccoli and carrots. Delicious snowy-day meal.
I took a “classic” macaroni salad recipe and made a few changes to turn it into a chicken and macaroni salad, suitable for a meal. The white balsamic vinegar gives this dish a different flavor from the usual versions – I like it a lot.
BALSAMIC CHICKEN AND MAC SALAD
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender, 8-9 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Dry the pasta as much as possible, blotting with a paper towel. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic, celery seed, black pepper, minced onions and pimiento. Stir in the drained macaroni. Add the chicken breast.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.
I’ve used several good macaroni and cheese recipes through the years, but this one has become my favorite because, with the use of lower fat ingredients such as milk, cheese and cottage cheese, it is not too bad cholesterol-wise and is still delicious.
SHANNON’S MACARONI & CHEESE
3/4 cup dry macaroni
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tblsp. dried onion
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 slices bread, processed into crumbs (about 2 cups)
3 Tblsp. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9×9″ pan with non-stick spray
Cook macaroni in salted boiling water for approximately 8 minutes. Drain. Place in large bowl, add cheese and onion.
In a blender or food processor, blend cottage cheese, milk and mustard. Pour over the macaroni mixture. Add salt and pepper. Pour macaroni into prepared pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of macaroni and add a sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees F.
Yield: 6 servings
This dish can be made early in the day and refrigerated until time to bake. Add 10 minutes baking time if it has been refrigerated.