This is easily one of my favorite holiday side dishes...Really one of my favorite side dishes period...And here , in case you don't know is a very simple recipe for making baked macaroni & cheese...The proper name or just Mac & Cheese as we call it around the family table-
* 1 box elbow macaroni (about 16 ounces)
* 1-1/2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
* a pinch of salt
* pepper to taste
Cookware and Utensils:
* 1 large boiling pot
* 1 baking casserole
* 1 measuring cup
1. Soften your butter using your microwave. Microwave the butter on low for about 60 to 90 seconds. You only want to soften the butter, therefore check the butter every 10 to 15 seconds to ensure it doesn't melt.
2. Boil your elbow macaroni according to package instructions.
3. Place cooked and drained macaroni in your casserole dish. Add softened butter, milk, pinch of salt, pepper to taste and one pound of shredded cheddar cheese. Gently mix to blend the ingredients. Layer the top of your macaroni with the remaining cheese, about 1/2 pound.
4. Bake macaroni with cheese at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. The top layer will turn golden brown when the macaroni is ready. Do not allow your mac and cheese to dry out.
Food Safety Tips Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.
1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).
Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.
2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!
Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.
3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.
Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.
4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.
One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:
* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit
* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit
* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.
Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.
5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.
Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.
6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.
Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.
7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.
You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.
The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.
9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.
10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.
You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov
I am a native of Philadelphia PA, USA; attended Darby-Colwyn High School 1973-76; attended Shippensburg University and majored in Journalism 1976-81; charter member of Kappa Omega Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; served in US Air Force Reserves 1984-2006. I'm also a husband, father, and grandfather. My birthday is March 24th and my sun sign is Aries (The Ram). And, just so we're clear, let's establish from the door, Aries rules! Okay?
One thing my wife and I like to do is eat out at nice (and sometimes, not so nice) restaurants. From time to time, this blog will feature recipes, reviews of restaurants, and healthy eating information. Posts will not be published here on a daily basis like my other two blogs, but I hope you will enjoy this blog too!
I would like to give a shout out to the following bloggers for their loyal and consistent support of Good Foodie via the number of comments they have made on this blog to date. Thank you so much!
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