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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Junior's Macaroni and Cheese - not dairy free

Both of my kids love participating in the 4-H County Food and Nutrition contest. Junior is considered a "Clover Kid" and so he isn't really judged - he gets asked questions but his ability to answer isn't scored. His dish for 4-H Food and Nutrition was Baked Cheese and Pasta - well Macaroni and Cheese but he didn't do macaroni noodles.

His dish has been more challenging for me just because of various problems. The first time he made it, I forgot we were doubling the recipe when we added the cheese. So it only had half of the necessary cheese. It was good, just not cheesey.

When we were making it for the contest I planned on us making it the night before and then baking it the day of. So right before bed, we are in the kitchen and trying to make it. I had gotten a block of cheese because I needed sharp cheese and it was cheaper more economical and was going to use the food processor. It broke. So we are scrambling around looking for the cheese grater - Daisy didn't even really know what it was - so that 12 ounces of cheese could be grated. And I had to make the bread crumbs to go on the top.

Luckily it all turned out well.

Baked pasta and Cheese

1/2 pound gluten-free pasta in desired shape
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the tapioca flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Top the macaroni with the bread crumb. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

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