curried macaroni and cheese

prep time:  15 minutes
cook time:  30 minutes
servings:  8 - 10

1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 red onion - finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 thai green chile - split lengthwise
1 tablespoon curry powder
6 tablespoons flour
5 cups milk
2 1/2 cups grated white cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 bunch asparagus - trimmed

1.  heat oven to 350 degrees.  cook macaroni in salted water, drain and set aside.

2. in a large saucepan melt butter with the oil over medium heat.  add onion, garlic and chile; saute until soft, 2 minutes.  stir in curry powder and flour to create a paste.  pour in milk while whisking and bring to a simmer, stirring.

3.  remove saucepan from the heat and discard the chile.  add 2 cups cheese, stir until smooth.  add the cooked macaroni and slat.  transfer mixture to a 4-quart baking dish.  sprinkle top with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup cheese.  arrange the asparagus over macaroni.  sprinkle asparagus with the remaining breadcrumbs and cheese and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the top is golden.

- ladies home journal, march 2011

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