Friday, December 5, 2008

The Perfect Mac and Cheese

Well I just couldn't take it anymore, I had to have homemade mac & cheese. There was buzz around the office last week about making mac & cheese for Thanksgiving. Why don't we have mac & cheese on Thanksgiving? As I excitedly made my sinful dinner, I thought it would be fun to share a post on how to make it.

But if you don't like to cook, I highly recommend Trader Joe's 4 cheese mac & cheese. It's in the freezer section, and it's phenomenal. Maybe you should stop reading this post and go out and buy it right now. It really is that good. I keep one on hand in my freezer in case I get a craving.

Here's how to make my favorite mac & cheese...

Mac & Cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 pounds Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 pound dry elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup Panko or plain dry bread crumbs*
  • Cayenne pepper**
  • Salt

*Panko is a Japanese bread crumb, look in the Asian section of supermarket
**If serving to children or guests, don't make dish too spicy

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Bring a large pot of water to boil for macaroni. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

While water is boiling, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly until lightly browned. Ensure mixture does not burn.

Add the milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add mustard. Add cayenne to taste. Stir in cheese and cook over low heat, stirring until melted. Salt to taste.

Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain well. Return macaroni to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and stir until combined. Spread the macaroni in prepared baking dish.

In a small glass bowl, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in microwave. Add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, stir until moistened. Sprinkle mixture over macaroni.

Bake for 45 minutes or until it's reached perfect bubbly yumminess. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a light salad so you feel better about all these cheese you're about to enjoy! You can also easily cut this recipe in half if needed.

1 comment:

Rachel Shoemaker said...

mmm this looks sooo good! My favorite is 1 can cream of mushrooms soup, 1 lb. large elbow macaroni and a bit of grated cheese in it and cover the top with sharp cheddar... mmmm!

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