Baked Macaroni and Cheese

 

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese fills that crave for cheese and pasta, and this version can be crafted to the measure of your love for different cheeses.

I love getting my fill of mac and cheese. I’ve had some kinds with lobster or bacon, one cheese or 5 cheeses, crunchy or 100% smooth. Mac and cheese just hits the spot. This could be a great all-in-one meal, or it could be a great side. What’s nice is you can easily change up the type of macaroni you use (elbow, shells, etc.) and what cheese you use (cheddar, parmesan, pepper jack, etc.) while the process remains straight forward.

The original recipe I used for this dish came from here: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-classic-baked-macaroni-amp-cheese-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-216847


Ingredients:

  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb macaroni (elbow, shells, etc.)
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I used cheddar cheese, but get creative here! Try mixing different cheeses!)
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs

Equipment:

  • large sauce pot
  • colander
  • medium sauce pot
  • large mixing bowl
  • medium baking dish

Application:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large sauce pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt. Cook the macaroni according to the package, until al dente. Drain in colander.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour while whisking to form a roux. Cook for about 1-2 min. Add the milk slowly while continuing to whisk to form the base of a sauce. Continue to stir mixture slowly for about 5 min, while the sauce thickens. Remove from heat, then stir in cheese a handful at a time. Add salt.
  4. Mix the macaroni with the cheese sauce in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a medium baking dish, then add the panko crumbs evenly on top.
  5. Bake for about 10-15 min. Feel free to broil the last 1-2 min to make the panko more brown and crispy. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve!
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