Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cheesy Mac 'n' Cheese

I was talking to my friend Lisa awhile ago about lightening recipes for macaroni and cheese. I was saying how, with the right substitutions, it would be possible to make a lower-fat version of this delectable dish. She said screw it, and stuck with the fatty versions. I now, after having tried many light versions, agree with Lisa.

Tonight's dinner sucked! It was a macaroni and cheese recipe from the January 2007 issue of Shape magazine, and it had the word "cheesy" in the title. I thought it would be yummy. I was wrong. We did omit the tomatoes because they do not belong in a macaroni and cheese. But the entire thing was just...not cheesy. And bland. Very bland. It wasn't good. We ordered pizza.

Here is the recipe, but don't make this.

Cheesy Mac 'n' Cheese
Thanks to the sour cream, evaporated milk, and cheddar cheese, one serving is an excellent source of calcium, providing nearly half your daily needs.

12 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 12-ounce can evaporated fat-free milk or 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, and transfer pasta to a large bowl. While pasta is still hot, stir in sour cream, reserved pasta water, and diced tomatoes. Set aside.

Scald milk by heating in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles just appear around the edges. Add cheese, mustard, pepper, and nutmeg and simmer, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Fold cheese mixture into pasta and transfer to a casserole dish (mixture will be thin but will thicken as it bakes).

Mix together bread crumbs and Par-mesan cheese and sprinkle over pasta.

Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Yield: 4 servings

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