Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is my "go-to" recipe for baked macaroni and cheese. It is an Alton Brown recipe, and can be printed directly from the Food Network website.

A few comments: I didn't serve it in individual ramekins--this photo was taken before I reheated it Saturday morning for my breakfast. Also, I didn't add the bread crumbs to it this time--didn't have any in the house.

If you want another fantastic recipe, here is my mom's favorite: the Barefoot Contessa's Mac and Cheese.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Bon Appetit! bjh

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