Valentine's Day Showdown: Comfort Food from the Thrifty Cook

Jonathan McNamara
Cyndi Coon prepares meatloaf.
Yesterday, Wynter Holden AKA The Virgin Cook gave you a Valentine's Day menu built on ease of preparation and maximum effectiveness...ahem...outside of the kitchen. Today, we're all about comfort foods courtesy of The Thrifty Cook.

These thrifty options are great because they make more then you need for one meal and you can freeze portions to serve up at a later date. Well, the mac and cheese and meatloaf anyway, the brownies may not last.

Jonathan McNamara
Ingredients for the baked macaroni and cheese.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)

½ Lbs elbow macaroni
6 TBLS butter
3 TBLS flour
1 TBLS powdered mustard
3 C milk
½ C yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tspn paprika
1 egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tspn kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 C bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Bring a large pot of water to boiling
3. Add in macaroni
4. In a sauce pan, melt 3 TBLSP butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and whisk for around five minutes.
5. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.
6. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
7. Mix in the egg.
8. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.
9. Add in salt and pepper.
10. Fold the macaroni into the mix, stir all together
11. Transfer into a a bread baking pan (should fill to pans)
12. Top with remaining cheese
13. Melt 3 TBLSP butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.
14. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Cook one and freeze one.
15. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest before serving.

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