February 4, 2015

Macaroni and Cheese

Tell me this isn't the ultimate comfort food! OK, brownies are right up there, too, but in terms of food, it has to be at the top of the list! And this mac 'n cheese dish will make you close your eyes in joy, especially after a bite of the crispy edge part.

We packed up this dish to share together with friends, and the delay allowed me a rare moment to grab the camera.  Are you so impressed that I actually have something to show you, and not just another empty dish of remnants??!  Honestly, stuff around here is gone in a second.  I've learned to take that as a compliment.  =)

Macaroni and Cheese
1 c. cottage cheese
2 c. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
A large pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb sharp Tillamook cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 lb uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
dried tomatoes

Place cottage cheese and milk in food processor and pulse until smooth.  Pour mixture into large bowl and add mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cheese, and pasta.  For an flavor punch (and nutritional boost), add in a handful or two of mushrooms, onions, and dried tomatoes sautéed and nicely browned in olive oil.

Pour mixture into 9x13" glass dish.  Bake @ 375°, 30 minutes covered, then 30 minutes uncovered.

*Consider mixing in a small handful of another white cheese, such as Jarlsberg.  Just make sure the total amount of cheese is 1 pound.
*Use a food scale!  It makes a difference and is worth the effort.  Don't guess.
*Don't be tempted to add more noodles.  This recipe starts out pretty soupy.
*Use white noodles.  It's a rare treat, so get over the guilt of not using whole wheat or quinoa.  Enjoy!
*If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, this is as good the 2nd day.

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