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Macaroni and Cheese Plus!

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MACARONI AND CHEESE PLUS!

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups cooked macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked)
12 oz. (3 cups) sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
3 cups milk
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup diced ham (optional)
1/2 cup fresh green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. butter (for sautéing onions)
3/4 tsp salt (may be omitted if using ham)
Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:
• Melt butter in heavy pan. Add flour and blend until smooth. Add milk slowly and blend. Cook until smooth. Add grated cheese to complete sauce. Pour over macaroni. Set aside.
• Sauté onion in butter till translucent. Add peppers and sauté another 2 minutes or so. Add onion mixture and ham (if desired) to macaroni mixture. Add Clancy’s hot sauce to taste (experiment). Bake in casserole dish at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until top is brown and bubbly.

NON-DAIRY VARIATION:
Substitute almond cheese, almond milk, and Earth Balance buttery spread (found in natural food stores) for cheddar, milk and butter.

Adapted from a recipe submitted by Georgia Palmer of Mercer, PA, who says: “We never have plain macaroni and cheese anymore. This dish is beautiful and delicious and such a nice surprise for your guests.”

 If you enjoy this recipe, you may also enjoy other recipes featuring Michigan’s finest local ingredients in the cookbook “Fork in the Road with Eric Villegas,” available for purchase at http://www.huronriverpress.com/displaybook/000150/.

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