Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Best Homemade Mac n' Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those recipes that you have to have a go-to recipe for. It is an ultimate comfort food, but if you aren't careful with your recipe you end up with a grainy sauce on your beloved macaroni. This is one of Ethan's favorite foods, so I knew I had to find a recipe and perfect it. I have made this recipe so many times, I can make it without looking at my recipe! This is also one of my dad's favorite things that I make. Sometimes, when I am visiting I will make a big pan and he can have as much as his heart desires. This macaroni and cheese tastes excellent when reheated, which cannot be said about "the blue box." This is easily the best homemade mac n' cheese I have ever made, and if you are feeling extra indulgent add some bacon bits to the top.
Source: Food Network, Alton Brown

1/2 pound of Elbow Macaroni
3 tablespoons of Butter
3 tablespoons of Flour
1 tablespoon of Powdered Mustard
3 cups of Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
6 ounces of Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded
6 ounces of Italian Cheese Mix, Shredded
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
3 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup-1 cup of Sharp Cheddar, Shredded

{I change up the cheeses with whatever I have available, but I always top with Sharp Cheddar. The important part is just to make sure you have 12 ounces.}

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, cook the pasta, according to directions on the package, al dente.

Now, in a small sauce pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter. When it is melted, whisk in the flour and mustard. It is important to keep this mixture moving the whole time. When it is free of lumps, stir in the milk, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and then remove the bay leaf.

Next, stir in the 12 ounces of cheese, a little at a time, until it is all melted into the mixture.

Now, get out a 9x13 dish, and pour your noodles into this pan. Pour the cheese mixture on top of the noodles and combine all of the ingredients.

Time for the topping! Sprinkle the shredded sharp cheddar cheese on the macaroni and cheese. Now, Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave and toss with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.

Finally, bake for 30 minutes and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

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