Meatless Monday: Baked macaroni and cheese, with a kick!

Photo by Brittney MacDonald

It’s hard to go wrong with this much cheese…

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

You will need:

2 tbsp. butter

½ small onion, julienned

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 tsp. vegetable oil

2 cups horseradish mozzarella cheese

2 triangles of Happy Cow cheese (not the same thing as Babybel, don’t use that)

1/3 cup jalapeño or chilli pepper cream cheese

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese

½ casserole dish worth of macaroni

For those out there who like it a little spicy, here’s my own, personal recipe for baked mac and cheese. If you prefer your meals to be a little tamer, just use normal mozzarella and regular cream cheese instead of the spicy variations that I have listed.

Start by preheating your oven to 350F degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter before sautéing onions until translucent (approximately two minutes). Add in flour, making a roux. Stir constantly for about a minute before adding milk, pepper, and salt. Stir continuously until it appears to thicken.

While you’re waiting for the roux to thicken, fill a medium-sized soup pot halfway with water. Add in the oil and lightly salt it. Cover and bring it to a boil. Adding the salt will prevent the water from boiling over while the oil will ensure the pasta you will be adding won’t clump up. (FYI this trick works with all pasta.)

Add the macaroni to the boiling pot of water, and cook al dente (approximately 10 minutes). By filling your casserole dish halfway with dry macaroni, you ensure that you will have the perfect amount to fill it, allowing for no messy clean-up and an even cook. Drain and rinse the macaroni, then set it aside.

Going back to the sauce, once the milk mixture has thickened, add in the horseradish mozzarella, Happy Cow cheese, and the cream cheese. Do not add in the cheddar cheese.

Stir it until all the cheese clumps are melted.

In a greased casserole dish, fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce, making sure they are thoroughly mixed.

Top with cheddar cheese and a couple dashes of pepper.

Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling.

When finished, take it out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. Be very careful, because it’s going to be hot!