Monday, January 26, 2009


Macaroni and cheese with spinach (recipe in the comments)
Baked tomatoes

Hot tea

This was our first homemade mac and cheese recipe, made for the first time in 2003, and we LOVE it. It's very simple, but the addition of scallions, garlic, and mustard give the cheese sauce a zip most classic versions don't. Of course, I haven't even mentioned the spinach, which gives it color and adds veggies. I also think the spinach adds a wonderfully soft texture. This is yet another recipe in one of our most common January recipe category: comfort foods that manage to be on the lighter side. We always love baked tomatoes - a way of making winter tomatoes edible and it's easy to make right alongside the mac. Just stick them in about 10 minutes earlier than the casserole.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Easy
Chopping: Scallions, garlic, Emmentahler, Asiago, spinach, tomatoes
Time: 50 minutes, including 15 minutes baking time
Make ahead: This is very good the next day.

J: "This is the perfect mid-winter meal."
M: M is still thinking.

1 comment:

J said...

Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach – J & M (inspired by Cooking Light)
Serves 3 (no leftovers for lunch)

Cooking spray
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 5 oz bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T blended flour (like Wondra, regular flour works ok)
2 cups skim milk
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
3 shakes garlic powder, to taste
½ cup shredded Emmentahler cheese (other white cheeses would be fine)
⅓ cup shredded Asiago
1-2 T Dijon mustard
½ cup Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook macaroni, drain over the spinach, and set both aside.

Melt butter in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook one minute. Add flour, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a wisk until blended. Bring to a low boil and gently cook until thick (about two minutes). Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cheeses, and Dijon. Stir until melted. Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir to blend. Taste for seasonings and mustard.

Spoon macaroni mixture into dish. Sprinkle with crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.