Coast Cooking

COAST COOKING: Nothing’s more comforting than macaroni and cheese

The holidays are supposed to be a special time of the year. We should embrace our family and friends, invite them to our tables and share the abundance of our pantry with them.

All too often people get caught up in the frenzy of gift-buying, and getting the house ready for people we might be too concerned with that missed dust ball in the corner.

 Finances are diminished, and stress can become a major problem.

There is no magical cure for all of those ills, but a moment to pause and reflect just might help, and as long as you are sitting there, you might as well have a bite to eat. So why not enjoy America's No. 1 comfort food, macaroni and cheese? Grab and spoon and just do it.

Here is a simple and good recipe.

MACARONI AND CHEESE

1 pound macaroni pasta

5 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning

Bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons butter.

Preheat oven to 375 f. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, but reserve 1 cup of the starchy water. Add the butter to a deep, heavy bottom pan and melt, whisk the flour in to make a basic béchamel sauce. Take your time and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the cheeses and stir as they melt, taste and season to your taste. A little black pepper would be OK, too. Add the pasta and stir. If it is too thick add a little water. Add the additional butter to another pan and melt, add the bread crumbs and mix but do not brown. Top that macaroni and cheese with the butter soaked bread crumbs and bake until bubbly and brown. Serve piping hot.

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