Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese - without the blues!

Macaroni and cheese! Macaroni and cheese! Who doesn't love this stuff? I've never made a wholehearted attempt at making my own before. A couple times when I was nannying and the pantry didn't have anymore blue Kraft boxes, I tried. I would cook noodles- add melted butter, milk, cheese and salt and pepper and cook on the stove. I never thought of thickening the sauce and baking it- genius! Besides, I got a couple quizzical looks and "Hey! This does not look like mac and cheese..."'s...

I found this recipe from Bree and I love it! The mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce really give it that tasty, mature flavor. It definitely won't give you the blues... OK now that we're all singing that jingle...moving on..

Again, I halved this recipe and baked in a 9inch Pyrex pie dish (because someone broke my sweet little 8x8 glass pan...). This worked well, and I wouldn't change a thing (Except maybe buy a new pan..hint hint G, if you're reading this) ! You can experiment with different types of noodles. I used the kind that look like little shells (I forget what they're called) and it was super tasty. To give you an idea of how much this makes, half of this recipe was enough for 2 dinners for 2 people. Perfect with these baked chicken fingers. The bf said he loved it- especially the crunchy bits on top. This is a perfect "grown up" mac and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta shells (or pasta of choice)
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 12 oz shredded cheese (I did 1/3 cheddar, 1/3 Monterrey jack, 1/3 Italian blend)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Crumb topping:
  • 3/4 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 TBSP melted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • chives for garnish (I didn't feel like doing any chopping...)

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add mustard and flour. Whisk together for 1 minute.

Pour in milk and whisk until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened (3+ minutes). It should coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and whisk in cheeses.

Add Worcestershire sauce and season GENEROUSLY with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and toss together. Check the seasonings- add more salt/pepper if needed.

Pour into buttered 13x9 dish (or smaller single-serving dishes). Mix together topping ingredients until crumbs are well-coated.

Sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Garnish with chives, if desired and serve!

Goes well with baked chicken fingers!

*Update- I made a second time with whole wheat mini shells, skim milk and Italian breadcrumbs in my NEW 8x8 Pyrex dish. It was just as tasty and the leftovers are delicious! :)



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