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Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

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This recipe for Baked Mac and Cheese, by , is from OUR FAMILY RECIPE COLLECTION, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Traci Bichalski

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
Macaroni:
8 oz macaroni (elbow pasta)
1 tbsp unsalted butter (or 2 tsp oil)

Topping:
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt

Sauce:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup, plain all purpose
3 cups milk , warmed (low or full fat)
2 cups shredded cheese (favourite is gruyere, next is cheddar and Colby) (Note 2)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese , or more other cheese of choice (Note 2)
3/4 tsp salt

Seasonings (optional):
1 tsp garlic powder
tsp onion powder
tsp mustard powder

Directions:
Directions:
Pasta:
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add macaroni and cook per packet directions MINUS 1 minute.
Drain, return pasta to pot, add butter and toss until melted. Set aside to cool while making the Sauce (Optional - Note 3).

Topping:
Mix together Topping. Set aside.

Sauce:
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
In a large saucepan or in an ovenproof skillet (I use my 26cm/9" Lodge cast iron skillet), melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Add about 1 cup of the milk and mix to dissolve the paste into the milk. Then add remaining milk and mix until lump free (use whisk if required).
Mix in salt and Seasonings if using.
Cook, stirring/whisking regularly, for 5 - 8 minutes until thickened to a cream consistency. When the Sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, you should be able to draw a path with your finger.

Remove from stove, add cheese and stir - cheese doesn't need to melt.

Adjust salt to taste.
Assembling:
Pour Sauce into pot with Macaroni. Stir quickly, then pour back into the skillet (I did this) or a baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping.

Bake for 25 minutes or until top is light golden. Don't bake too long otherwise you'll bake away the Sauce!

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
6
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Notes
1. Panko breadcrumbs are larger pieces than normal breadcrumbs which creates a really nice extra crunchy topping. It can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets.

2. Always grate your own cheese for cheese sauces. Store bought shredded cheese have anti caking agents which don't melt so can give the sauce a slight powdery texture.

The Main Cheese (2 cups) should be a flavored cheese. My favorites are: cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, provolone and Gruyere (I used this in the video). Gruyere is my favorite, you can use any melting cheese.

I like to use mozzarella for the 2nd cheese (1 cup). It melts really well into the sauce, has that nice stretch, and isn't as oily like other cheese can tend to be. However, you can just use more of the Main Cheese.

3. Tossing the cooked pasta with butter provides a light coating that helps prevent it from bloating while baking in the sauce. This is also the reason why I let the pasta cool before mixing in with the sauce. You could just make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

4. PREPARE AHEAD: Mac and Cheese is best made fresh but if you need to make ahead, this is the best way: Cook pasta and toss in butter, cool. Make cheese sauce per recipe, then cool with LID ON (important, to avoid evaporation). Make topping. Store all components separately in the fridge until required. Mix sauce and pasta, top with topping then bake per recipe.

5. REHEATING LEFTOVERS: Best way is to microwave to make warm then spray top with oil (or butter) and crisp under grill/broiler.


 

 

 

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