Hot dish to cure it all

Sometimes you just need some mac and cheese.

 

Some good ole fashion mac and cheese.  Especially after you’ve been sick for a week and a half.  Especially after you get your hospital bill from two months ago.  And your insurance didn’t cover as much as you thought.  Especially because, well, why not?  You’d be lying if you said you didn’t like mac and cheese.

Those were all statements about me, in case you didn’t get that. Yeah, comfort food was in order this evening.

This is very reminiscent of my mom’s “hot dish.”  She used to make mac and cheese, put parmesan cheese on the top and then broil it in the oven-hot dish.  I think it was my dad that coined the phrase hot dish.  It’s a midwest thing I guess.

This is a slight variations of Mom’s.  I used almond milk instead of regular milk so that I could cut down on the diary some.  I still used real, cow’s milk cheddar and another departure from Mom’s, blue cheese.  I thought I’d make the hot dish fancy tonight.

Hot Dish (Mac and Cheese)

  • 1.5 tbls butter
  • 2 tbls flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups warmed almond milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1 pound of sauce catching pasta of your choice (you could use traditional macaroni noodles, but I was making fancy hot dish!)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta.  Boil pasta 7 minutes and drain.  Place pasta back into original pot.  Finely chop the two garlic cloves while pasta cooks.

Heat medium sized pot over burner.  Melt butter in the pot and then add the chopped garlic.  The add the flour, whisking the butter, flour and garlic together until you get a paste like consistency.

Now, slowly pour in the almond milk, whisking all the while.  Your sauce will start to thicken up and when it does, add the cheddar cheese.  You’ve made cheese sauce!  Wasn’t that easy?

Now, when your cheese sauce has thickened, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Then add the cheese sauce to the pasta, along with the blue cheese crumbles.  Mix well and then transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add bread crumbs and parmesan cheese to top.

Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly!

This was a good decision.

It doesn’t taste exactly like my mom’s but it’s pretty darn close.  The sauce isn’t as thick because it’s made with almond milk, but it doesn’t lack in cheesiness.  It’s hot, salty and there’s hints of that strong, yet oh so tasty bleu cheese running through the pasta.  The crunchy top is definitely what makes the dish though.  The parmesan creates this especially great crust on top that has a satisfying crispy texture.

And bleu cheese.  Yes, I’ve missed you.

I forgot how strong this is.  A little goes a long way.

I ate mine with some kale chips.  I was trying to be a little healthy, but being sick has made me crave carbs and cheese.  I’m ok with this.

One day, when I’m tired, recovering from sickness and paying hospital bills, I’ll crave carrots and spinach.

Probably not.

Happy eating, it’s good to be eating normally again!

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