Skip to main content

Baked Mac & Cheese


 

There is only so much you can say about Macaroni and Cheese.  It's pasta and it's cheese - what's not to love?!  I've generally preferred stove-top mac & cheese to baked, but I definitely see where baked mac & cheese has it's place.  It's great to entertain with because you can make it in advance earlier in the day, or even the night before, and pop it in the oven before serving.  

When looking for a baked mac & cheese recipe that would be creamy enough to prepare in advance, I stumbled across this recipe on Pioneer Woman.  I've never met a recipe of hers that I didn't fall in love with, so I knew this had to be tried as well.  I prepared this recipe earlier in the day and several hours later after baking it was still creamy and flavorful.  Definitely a winner!  Plus, with this recipe can even be enjoyed before baking.  However, I did notice when taste testing that the mustard flavor was pretty powerful before baking, so if I do make this recipe in plans of serving straight from the stove-top, I'll reduce the amount of dry mustard to suit my personal preferences.


Baked Mac & Cheese
Ingredients:
4 cups Dried Macaroni
1 whole Egg Beaten
¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
1 pound Cheese, Grated (I used 3 Cheddars - Sharp, White and Mild)
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
¼ - ½ teaspoons of any optional spices such as: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook macaroni according to package directions until slightly firm.  Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly and being careful not to burn.  Add the milk to the pot, stir in the dry mustard, and whisk until smooth.  Cook the mixture for five minutes until very thick.  Reduce the heat to low. 
In a small bowl, beat the egg.  Take 1/4 cup of the warm sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the egg.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the sauce, whisking constantly.  Stir until smooth.  Mix in the cheese, reserving about half a cup for topping, and stir until completely melted.  Add in seasonings.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Add the drained cooked macaroni to the pot and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish, top with reserved cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.
Note - if you prepare it in advance you might want to cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes, removing the foil at about 20 minutes so it doesn't dry out.

Source:
Pioneer Woman

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Key Lime Gooey Butter Cake

I'm from St. Louis.  The home of Gooey Butter Cake.  Many people think it's a Paula Deen creation, and how could you not when you see how much butter is in it, but you can't go in to a restaurant, bakery or grocery store without seeing gooey butter somewhere in St. Louis.  We love it.  What's not to love with butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, oh my!

But, considering I've made it numerous times, I'm always up for a new variation.  Nutella?  Check!  Cookies?  Don't mind if I do!  Pumpkin?  Well of course!  While talking to my mom about what to bring to a family function, she mentioned she saw a recipe for key lime gooey butter cake.  Sold!  I've never heard of the website she sent over to me, but it looked similar to the basics of every other recipe I've used for Gooey Butter Cake so I knew I wanted to give it a try!

One thing people may not realize is that Gooey Butter Cake is very easy to make.  Just a few ingredients really!  Just mix them, ba…

Foodbuzz 24x24: A Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that my baby boy is technically no longer a baby anymore!  It seems like just yesterday I was a nervous wreck on our way to the hospital, and now all of a sudden I'm planning a birthday party!

Even before Ty was born though, I knew I wanted to do a Very Hungry Caterpillar party.  I'm not exactly sure what made me think of it, but one day I was sitting in his room and imagining reading him the first book I bought for him.  Yep - The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

There is something about the classic children's book that lends itself very well to entertaining.  Generally speaking, the focal point of any event (aside from the reason for celebration), is the food.    For those not familiar with the book - The Hungry Caterpillar is all about food!  He eats is way through many different foods, until he's big and strong and becomes a beautiful butterfly.  A perfect metaphor for a young baby.  It's amazing how much such a little guy can eat - but at th…

White Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Filling

OK, so, while this recipe was the result of me literally quick thinking at the grocery store rushing around to pick up a few ingredients over Easter weekend, I came up with a fantastic cake filling, in my humble opinion.  I love the cake fillings at Costco and wanted to make a variation on that.  This is really semi-homemade but oh so good!  It's rich, creamy and decadent.  Even my husband loved it, and he's not really a cake fan.  It was so easy to make too!


White Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Filling
Ingredients:
1 package Jello Pudding - Cheesecake flavor
1 8-oz. container Whipped Cream Cheese, softened
1 8-oz, container Cool Whip, thawed
3 oz. White Chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Beat softened cream cheese and vanilla with mixer until well blended and light (a few minutes).

Beat in pudding mix until fully incorporated.

Stir in melted white chocolate.

Fold in thawed Cool Whip

Allow to set in fridge for a few hours, but don't let it get too cold that it…