For Christmas, Chris gave me a Dutch oven made by Lodge. A Dutch oven is a thick-walled (usually cast iron) cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid that can be used both on the range top and in the oven. I’d never had any cooking dish that could be used both on the range and in the oven. How cool is that?
I asked for a Dutch oven because so many recipes I’ve seen called for one, including a couple of recipes for some personal favorites: chicken fricassee and macaroni and cheese. In the past few weeks, I’ve made both dishes with my new Dutch oven and got to make use of the range-to-oven versatility for both meals. Boy, is it fun to use!
It is not, however, fun to clean any dish in which you have made macaroni and cheese. That said, this baked macaroni and cheese recipe, which my mother emailed to me, is absolutely delicious and worth the time it took to clean the pot—my lovely, cast-iron, pre-seasoned Dutch oven.
Macaroni and Cheese (from New World Pasta)
8 oz dried elbow macaroni (2 cups)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
12 oz of Velveeta (or processed cheese product), broken up
Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce in sauce pan, stirring to coat. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Oven Macaroni and Cheese: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare as above, except increase milk to 2 cups. (If mixture is not in a Dutch oven, transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole.) Bake, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.