Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mom's Mac-n-Cheese

My mom did all the cooking when I was a kid. Good, homemade meals where nothing came from a box and there were no concessions to finicky kids’ developing taste buds. We ate a lot of baked chicken and fish and steamed veggies. There was salad at every meal. My favorite food was artichokes, steamed whole and eaten with melted butter and lemon. I still like anything with melted butter and lemon. Mom was a health nut, though, so we didn’t see a lot of fatty comfort foods. When she did bust it out, she did it in style.

My brother’s absolutely favorite dish was and still is Mom’s Mac-n-Cheese with salmon. We always had crates of jarred salmon in the pantry, courtesy of family fisherman friends happy to share. Tucked in amongst cheese-cloaked noodles, the salmon elevates the humble dish to rock-star status.

Mom's Mac-n-Cheese with Salmon

6 tbls butter
6 tbls flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk
3-4 cups (i use 4) grated medium cheddar cheese
1 tsp (or to taste) Tapatio hot sauce
3 cups cooked noodles
1 tall can good salmon
1 cup green onions (optional)

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat (add salt). Add flour. Cook for a minute until a little bubbly. Add milk slowly! Turn heat to medium.

Meanwhile, cook noodles.

When the sauce thickens and starts bubbling, take off heat! Now add the cheese and the hot sauce.

Finally, combine cheese sauce, macaroni noodles, green onions (if using) and de-boned salmon together in a large oven-proof bowl or casserole dish.

Sprinkle top with another cheese layer. Or just use slices of cheese like I did.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

We cut the middle out cause it was fun.

A couple suggestions...Next time I make this, I would cut down the noodles to 2 cups. 3 cups of noodles made for a dense dish and I like a lot of sauce. Also, I think adding garlic and topping this with toasted breadcrumbs would be tasty.


Clayton said...

Chyeah! ..will be making this dish for the rest of my life! Let me know how it turns out if you try it with two cups instead of three.

LadyConcierge said...

I will, little bro!

Clayton said...

ugh seriously my mouth is watering right now.. i haven't had this in so long! and tell jen to allow people to use the Name/URL option to comment on her blog. i wanted to write something really witty and funny about great tits.

LadyConcierge said...

Clayton, that just sounds bad... FYI to everyone else, great tits are a kind of BIRD!

Tonya said...

Wow. *drool* I think my heart stopped just looking at those photos. And this, after I've sworn off dairy... *sigh* Since I have no willpower, I will be simultaneously cursing and praising you while I scarf the cheesy goodness later... :)