As is, just as a lot of other reviewers said, this is a bland recipe. Even using sharp cheddar, I thought it was a bit blah. I added several more cloves of fresh garlic, lots of cajun spice, red onions, some lemon & pepper and that took care of the spiciness needed. I also sprinkled some crumbled blue cheese (a little, depending on your taste) on top-- it added a nice bit of texture & flavor.
For the flour taste, I used about 1/4 cup corn starch disolved in a half a cup of cold water. Use a little more if it's not thick enough. The cheese thickened almost instantly-- I really didn't have to stir for long at all.
Also, to get a veggie serving, and some color I added frozen peas & corn to the mix before baking, and if you're not a big bacon fan, substitute tuna.
This is a great base for a home made macaroni. If you're looking for the really intense flavor of the "box" style mac & cheese, this isn't it. It is mellow, even with the spices, but it's got a home baked creaminess that you can't get with a mix. Just add what you like and taste it before baking. Go a little wild; you don't have to stick strictly to a recipe like this one.
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As is, just as a lot of other reviewers said, this is a bland recipe. Even using sharp...