Cast Iron Mac & Cheese: real comfort food

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When you need something a little more exciting than my Easy Mac & Cheese, but still not very time consuming, try this delicious twist. It's just as satisfying as baked mac & cheese, but super fast because the "baking" happens under the broiler for 4-6 minutes! Feel free to alter the spices to your liking and add different veggies as desired!

You'll need a deep iron skillet for this recipe. Here's the one I use

Cast Iron Mac & Cheese

(inspired by Parents Need to Eat Too)

One package of brown rice pasta (or pasta of choice)
3-4 organic hot dogs (optional)
1/2 c. organic frozen spinach (the kind in a bag, not a box), or a couple handfuls of fresh greens such as spinach, Swiss chard or kale
3 T. grass-fed butter
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 t. mustard powder
1/2 t. smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 t. unrefined sea salt
dash milk curry powder
2 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 T. organic unbleached flour, or sprouted whole grain flour

1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. If your hot dogs are frozen (we keep a couple packages in the freezer and just take out what we need), throw them into the boiling water to heat them. Add your greens toward the end of the cooking time (just a couple minutes for spinach, 3-4 minutes for chard, 5 minutes or so for kale). When the pasta and greens are done, drain and set aside. Let the hot dogs cool, and then slice them into pieces.
2. While the pasta is cooking, preheat your broiler. Heat a deep iron skillet until very hot.
3. Melt the butter in the hot skillet. Add the milk and spices. Add 2 cups of the cheese, a handful add a time, whisking to melt.
4. Sift the flour over the cheese sauce, a tablespoon at a time (I don't have a sifter, so I use a fine mesh strainer and just tap the side of it to sprinkle the flour in), whisking the sauce until smooth after each addition. The sauce should be nice and thick when you're done adding flour.
5. Add the cooked pasta and greens, and cut-up hot dogs. Stir to thoroughly coat the pasta with sauce.
6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and broil for 4-6 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

What do you cook when you want something fast and really, really delicious?


**This is part of the following real food and healthy living link-ups: Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Healthy2Day Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday

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