I'm a tad late for Thursday, but Caleb was using the computer. You forgive me, right? :)
Tonight's recipe is definite comfort food. If you're looking for an easy, classic dish that promises to please a simple pallet, then this is it.
Grown-Up Mac and Cheese
2 c elbow pasta
2 c shredded Gouda cheese
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust according to your taste - I use 1/4 tsp)
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick cooking spray
smoked sausage (I use turkey sausage)
If you decide to use sausage, pre-prepare the desired amount, and cut into thin slices. (I use one long link.) Set aside for later.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook elbow pasta in medium sized pot, according to directions on box. When fully cooked, drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, prepare cheese sauce. Start by melting butter in a medium sized pot over medium heat. When butter is completely melted, add milk and stir until there is an even consistency. Next add flour, and stir continuously. Break up any large clumps formed by flour. When texture is even, slowly add cheddar cheese, and continue to stir until all cheese is melted. Then add Gouda cheese, and stir until all is melted. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and stir. (Note: Make sure mixture does not boil. Monitoring the heat and stirring continuously should prevent this.)
Spray non-stick cooking spray into 9x9 inch casserole dish. Put noodles in dish, and cover with cheese mixture. Stir ingredients together, ensuring that all noodles are covered. If you are using sausage, stir it in now, as well. Transfer dish to oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
If you'd like, garnish with bread crumbs and chives. Then just chow down!