Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fran's Baked Macaroni and Cheeses Recipe from GILT BY ASSOCIATION by Karen Rose Smith

Winter and comfort food just seem to go together! What's better for a cold night than a steaming casserole of macaroni and cheese pulled from the oven? I often make this casserole ahead of time and then pop it in the oven to bake before dinner. Of course, then it might need a little more baking time. I hope you enjoy its creamy cheesy goodness as we do. This recipe is from my new mystery GILT BY ASSOCIATION which takes place in Pennsylvania in February. My sleuth's mom--Fran--likes to cook as much as her daughter.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Fran's Baked Macaroni and Cheeses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups elbow macaroni
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups whole milk
12 ounces Cooper Brand CV Sharp Pasteurized Process American Cheese cut into small cubes
(I use this cheese because it melts smoothly and doesn't separate.)
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
A sprinkle of smoked paprika (optional)

Bring 4 quarts salted (2 teaspoons) water to a boil. Pour in macaroni and stir.  Boil according to package directions--about 10 minutes.  Drain well and pour into a 3-quart ungreased casserole.

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan.  I use a stainless steel pot on medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and stir for about a minute.  Do NOT brown. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly on medium heat until smooth.  Slowly stir in milk. Allow mixture to come to a boil (I turn to high-medium heat. If heat is too high, you will get lumps!) Stir continuously so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Let bubble until thickened--about 2 minutes.  Lower heat and add cubed American cheese and grated Monterey Jack, stirring often.  Once cheeses are melted, stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 

Remove from oven and sprinkle with smoked paprika.

From GILT BY ASSOCIATION by Karen Rose Smith--Original recipe

©2015 Karen Rose Smith




USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.  

©2015 Karen Rose Smith

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