Christine Canfield's adapted recipe for Beer Mac and Cheese

Chances are, you're sick of dressing and mashed potatoes by now (did you try Thanksgiving Pizza?), so I thought I'd post this recipe that Urbana resident Christine Canfield sent me the other day.

"I’ve been told that I can never make any other mac and cheese again. Ever," Christine wrote. "And I imagine it pairs like a dream with a huge pile of white meat."

She called it "too good not to share," and said she changed it by adding bacon, green onions and substituted Velveeta (for a smooth texture), Mozzarella, super-sharp Cheddar and Flat Tire Amber Ale.

She served it in small ramekins.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese - originally from howsweeteats.com

Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole-wheat elbow noodles

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

8 ounces milk

8 ounces beer

8 ounces freshly grated Cheddar cheese

4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

pinch of black pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

10 large basil leaves, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare water for pasta and boil according to directions, shaving 1to 2 minutes off of cooking time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted and sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until bubbly and golden in color, about two minutes. Add milk and beer into saucepan whisking constantly, then add cheeses and stir until melted. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir, cooking for 5 to 6 minutes while mixture thickens. It will most likely not thicken like regular mac and cheese because of the beer, but you want it to thicken a little bit. Stir in pepper, paprika and nutmeg.

Add noodles (once cooked and drained) to a casserole dish, then pour cheese over top, mixing gently to combine. Top with panko bread crumbs and an additional sprinkle of cheese if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then top with fresh basil.

Photo from this Flickr page.

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