Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

If someone were to ask me “What is your favorite comfort food?”. I would immediately answer, “Macaroni and Cheese!” I mean the baked kind, not the kind you make on the stove top. In fact I don’t even think I realized there was a stove top kind until I was 17 and my best friend made it after school one day. Anywho, I love baked macaroni and cheese. My mom would often prepare it as part of Sunday’s dinner. It always was served when we had dinners at church and I could always count on having it whenever I went to my grandmother’s house. Of course my mom’s version was my favorite to eat and I couldn’t wait to master it.
I have spent years tweaking the recipe from my Mom’s original trying to make my own version that would be well loved. Each batch that I came up with was well received by my family, but I am my own worse critic and I wasn’t completely satisfied. That is until last Christmas. I found the perfect combination of ingredients, that even I couldn’t find fault with. Of course it still isn't as good as Mom's but I can live with that.
Now this recipe is the one I use for the holidays so it makes a lot of servings. I like to have enough to serve 8-10 people and to have leftovers. Feel free to cut down the amount of ingredients and to tweak the recipe yourself. You can make it a little healthier by substituting whole wheat pasta, low fat milk and cheese. Just consider this a road map to your perfect version of Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients
1 lb elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons of butter
8 tablespoons of flour
2 tsp powdered mustard
1 tsp paprika
2 eggs
4 cups shredded cheddar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
½ box Velveeta
4 cups of milk

Salt & Pepper to tatst
For the topping:
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
4 tbsp butter
Salt & Pepper to taste


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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the macaroni to al dente
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot melt the butter.

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Whisk in the flour and mustard for about 5 minutes, keeping the mixture continuously moving until it is fragrant and deepens in color. Make sure it is free of lumps.

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Whisking constantly, gradually add milk and paprika and bring mixture to a boil.
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Add bay leaf.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes

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Temper in the eggs

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I shredded the cheese myself this time.
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Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese and stir until fully melted 

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Add the macaroni to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

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Spoon half of the mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spay
Place slices of Velveeta on top of mixture. I sprinkled extra cheddar this time too.


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Top with remaining pasta, shredded cheddar and bread crumb mixture

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Bake for 30 minutes

For the topping:

Melt butter in sauté and and toss with bread crumbs, salt and pepper


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Doesn't it look yummy when it comes out of the oven.

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Enjoy!

Nutritional Information 20 servings
Calories: 275 Total Fat:14.9 Cholesterol: 56 Sodium 180 Carbohydrates: 24.8 Dietary Fibers: 1 Sugars: 2.8 Protein: 10.5

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3 comments:

Eftychia said...

This recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for the step by step instructions...

LaTisha said...

Hope you enjoy!

Patti said...

Hi LaTisha! Thanks for sharing your awesome mac and cheese! I always have to eat some before I put it in the oven :o) Have a great day and come back soon!