Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I've been craving Macaroni and Cheese lately, so I thought I'd try my hand at another homemade macaroni recipe.
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
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.
It was okay, and after Tom's initial dismay at the visual aspect of my dish, he said it tasted good. It didn't taste as cheesy as I expected, but there are many reasons why I may have messed this recipe up. In cooking the roux for five minutes, I may have overcooked it. After adding the milk, I may not have thickened that mixture enough. Tempering the egg? My first time ever trying that. The sauce looked fine until I added the cheese, then, it looked like a curdled mess. Apart from the way it looked, the macaroni wasn't very cheesy. I guess after eating Kraft for so many years, I have certain expectations. I think I will try this again, but I'll keep an eye out for the mistakes I made this time.

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