I realize there are enormous debates over the correct way to make Macaroni & Cheese. I am not going to get into that! This is just the way I make it (a la my Betty Crocker cookbook from 1986 with variations).
I take a double recipe of this to every church potluck and there is never any left to bring back home. As a matter of fact, I have actually seen people giving each other the "evil eye" over the last couple of spoonfuls! But in a good way...as it is a church function, after all! :)
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3 Tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
8 ounces Velveeta
Cook macaroni as directed on package. Be sure that it is soft, but not mushy. If it is not done enough, it will soak up too much of the sauce and the end product will not be creamy.
Melt margarine on stovetop in large skillet (nonstick is best). Add onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Mix flour into the 2 cups of milk. Make sure flour is completely incorporated. I put it in a tall glass and whisk it with a fork. Then add it to the warm margarine mixture on the stovetop.
Cook over medium heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Keep stirring until it boils and then stir for one minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in Velveeta until melted. It's easiest to do this over a very low heat, especially if you have had the cheese in the frig.
Once cheese is melted, add the macaroni. I find it easiest to mix everything together in the skillet and then pour it all in the pan to bake. Use a 1 1/2 quart casserole.
Bake uncovered in 375' oven for 30 minutes. I keep an eye on it and generally take it out early. We don't like it too brown on top. Plus, it is creamier if it bakes for less time. So, mine is usually a double recipe and it bakes for 25 minutes.
IF YOU DOUBLE THE RECIPE, USE A 13" X 9 " OBLONG PYREX DISH.
If reheating leftovers, be sure to add some extra milk. Otherwise, it gets too dry.