Soul Foodie: ‘Take Off The Blues’ With 3-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese

Soul Foodie Soundtrack: The Foreign Exchange "Take Off the Blues"

There are times in life where it seems that there is a private conspiracy working against your every plan and action. The moments where nothing seems to go right and as if all hell has broken loose. You have called, tweeted, and vented to whoever would listen, but no one else wants to come to your pity party of one. So to get out of your funk, you decide to put on some feel-good music, and you step into the kitchen to begin to prepare some comfort food that will bring you a little joy and happiness. Inspired by The Foreign Exchange's fan favorite song, this week's dish is the quintessential comfort food: Take Off the Blues 3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.

Just like a hearty bowl of mac and cheese, The Foreign Exchange's "Take Off the Blues," from 2008's Leave It All Behind, is a tasty combination. Phonte and Darien Brockington laced Nicolay's warm, mid-tempo track with a comforting soul groove to take your mind off of whatever ails you at the moment. With this song providing your soundtrack to cooking this three-cheese macaroni and cheese, you might find yourself two-stepping around the kitchen for the approximately 45-minute cooking time.

Take Off the Blues 3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup Fontina cheese, cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon salt
Nonstick cooking spray
2/3 cup crushed Goldfish Cheddar Crackers or Cheez-Its
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling water, add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

In a separate pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion to pot and cook approximately 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Stir constantly with a whisk and cook for 2 minutes or until thick. Add Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup Asiago, and salt. Stir until cheeses melt. Add pasta to cheese sauce and toss to combine.

Coat a 9x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with remaining Parmesan cheese. Top with remaining pasta mixture. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining Asiago cheese and crushed crackers then sprinkle evenly on top of the pasta. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with black pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 6-8

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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