Monday, August 29, 2011

Baked Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is my son's absolute favorite meal.  Whenever we ask him what he wants for dinner he replies with "mac and cheese".  I am not a huge fan of the neon orange cheese that first starts out as powder, so I tend to make this baked mac and cheese and it is extremely indulgent.

1 lb macaroni (sometimes I use small shells or cavatappi)
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)
2-4 cups grated cheese (I tend to use 4 cups and I like a combo of sharp cheddar and monterey jack and I don't use the kind that is already shredded, for some reason I feel it doesn't have as much flavor)
1/2 cup bread crumbs sauteed with 1 Tbsp butter for the topping

Cook pasta according to directions.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour.  Slowly pour in milk while stirring to keep the mixture thick.  Do the same with the cream.  Add in your salt and pepper.  Add in your cheese and stir to melt it.  Pour the pasta and cheese into a baking dish and top with breadcrumb mixture.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

*for a lighter version, use only milk (no cream) and use 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour rather than the 4 listed above.

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