Hank’s Mac and Cheese

My father-in-law Hank, also known as East Coast Papa, loves to cook.  As you might imagine, we get along great. We work well together in the kitchen, always pondering what our next meal will be before the one we’re cooking is even finished. Hank used to start each recipe with “first you start with a stick of butter” (imagine a Boston accent), but he’s cut back on the butter in recent years. His mac and cheese recipe is divine, with the oozy cheese-y yumminess you cannot find in a box. You may find yourself knocking the kids out the way to get to it first. It doesn’t take much longer to make than a box of packaged mac and cheese, but it is so much better. Perhaps not so much better for you, but, it is pasta and cheese after all.

Hank’s Mac & Cheese

Boil up a box of suitable pasta, such as medium elbows. Each box of pasta requires two or three cups of white sauce (two cups for “holds together” texture and three cups for “loose and saucy” texture).  I made one box, which was a large amount for ten hungry kids.

For each cup of white sauce:

1. Melt two tablespoons of butter.

2. Whisk in two tablespoons of flour.

3. Whisk in one cup of milk.

4. Cook on medium until it boils and thickens.

Assembly:

1. Mix cooked pasta with white sauce.

2. Put 1/2 of mixture in pan.

3. Layer on some cheese (American or cheddar – something tangy is best). I used almost two pounds of both white and orange American cheese.

4. Put 1/2 of mixture in pan.

5. Layer on even more cheese!

6. Bake in 350 degree oven until bubbly, usually 10-15 minutes – burns easily so be watchful.

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