Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

We had a fun time yesterday afternoon with our friends watching our team win the basketball game, “Go Cats” (as 20 month old Ellie would say). Of course most of my attention was focused on this cutie…

Isaacs Feb 2010 (19) Isaacs Feb 2010 (17)

I pulled out the rocking horse I made during one of my elementary education classes in college, she was at the perfect age for it and really loved it. She quickly learned how to climb off and on all by herself.

After the game we enjoyed French Beef Sandwiches, Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Roasted Green Beans…and the Chocolate Chip Brownie Cupcakes may have made an appearance too.

It’s been a wonderful weekend =D

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This was a new mac & cheese recipe for me, with it being Alton Brown’s I felt confident that it would be good. We all loved the panko butter crust topping, but the cheesy noodles were a slight disappointment for me. I think I would have been happier leaving the egg and diced onion out. The egg made the cheese a little gloppy, instead of smooth and creamy. It was still quite good and we’ll be happy to finish off the leftovers…but ya know, you have to hold mac & cheese to a very high standard. My favorite is still the Over the Rainbow version, I think it would be perfect paired with this panko crust.

Alton’s 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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

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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.

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.

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Melt the butter in a sauté 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.

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