Something to chew on

Monday, March 05, 2007

When Is a Recipe Yours and Not Stolen?

Each month in our tiny little mailbox we find a copy of a magazine called Texas Co-op Power from our electric company. There are always good articles about Texas travels, characters and food, and a handful of recipes. In the March issue they featured recipes from Texas-based Luby's. There was one that I just couldn't turn the page after reading: the macaroni and cheese.

(Can you tell we've been on a mac 'n cheese kick lately?!)

I had never tried mac 'n cheese from scratch before -- Cole was quick to point out I did not roll out the pasta noodles myself -- but I was ready to give this recipe a try. One problem: I don't keep dry non-fat milk in my pantry. But with Laura's suggestion, I decided to use evaporated milk instead. And with that, I reduced the water in the recipe. And I added breadcrumbs.

I added two ingredients, deleted one and altered the measurement of another. Does that make this recipe mine now, or does Luby's still get credit for it??? Either way, here's the version that came out of our oven this evening. Yummy if I do say so myself.

Mac 'n Cheese
2 cups large elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3 cups grated American cheese from deli counter (My deli guy suggested 1/4 pound for each 1 cup I wanted to shred; he was right on.)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
breadcrumbs

Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, boiling water, butter or margarine, evaporated milk and 1 cup of cheese until smooth. Fold in drained macaroni and 1 more cup of grated cheese. Pour into lightly greased 11x7" casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle last cup of grated cheese over the top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake an additional five minutes.

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