Mac ‘n’ cheese, please: a fun after-school snack | ParkRecord.com
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Mac ‘n’ cheese, please: a fun after-school snack

Linda Jager, Record guest writer

School is back in session and that means hungry kids will be roaming the kitchen looking for an after-school snack. Next time your child has a hankering for a hearty after-school meal, get out the pots and pans, and whip up a comforting batch of homemade macaroni and cheese. Cooking is a great family activity and a fun way to unwind after a day at school. Plus, cooking is a great exercise for practicing math skills!

Here’s an easy recipe for Three Cheese Mac and Cheese from Jaxon Stallard, a local chef and owner of Park City Cooking School. This dish was kitchen-tested by a crew of young chefs, ages 6-10, who gave the recipe five stars for taste and ease of preparation.

Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

Yield: 8 side dish servings

3 Tbsp

unsalted butter

¾ tsp

paprika

¼ cup

all-purpose flour

2 tsp

dry mustard

1 tsp

freshly ground nutmeg

2 ¼ cups milk, warmed

½ cup

crème fraiche

1 clove

garlic, peeled

8 oz.

grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese, dividing out ½ cup

4 oz.

grated mild cheddar cheese, dividing out ½ cup

8 oz.

elbow macaroni, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed with cold water

1/2 cup

Parmesan cheese

Crème Fraiche:

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons fresh buttermilk.

Mix well and let stand, covered, at room temperature until it thickens, about 12 hours. Refrigerate your homemade crème fraiche for up to 10 days.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, add 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter; whisk in flour, mustard, salt, nutmeg, paprika and freshly ground pepper to taste until smooth. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until mixture smells ‘toasty.’ Add milk, whisking until smooth. Add garlic clove, return to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in crème fraiche.

Reserving the ½ cup of each cheese for topping, stir the rest of the cheese into the sauce until melted. Remove and discard garlic clove.

Place macaroni in a baking dish; add cheese sauce, stirring to coat all of the macaroni with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining cheese. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve while warm.


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