Macaroni and cheese is really the ultimate naughty comfort food isn't it? it also happens to be a favorite of Mr. Kellen these days.
Ron's cousin came for a visit a few weeks ago to go over cloth diapers and all things baby. Since she was brewing a little one I decided to make her a special treat. I normally don't stick to a specific type of cheese blend for mac and cheese, and this time I decided a on few varieties for cheddar.
The entire group loved this dish and using three different types of cheddar was a delicious variation. Ron and I always go back and forth on what is better: stove top mac and cheese or baked. I think we are indecisive or the answer it whatever we are eating at the moment! In my opinion, the saucier and cheesier- the better. This is great as a side or as a meal on it's own- either way you will have smiles.
Good thing I am headed to the gym tonight for a little weight lifting! After the gym I think a little applesauce making is in order. Have a great day everyone!
4 Tbl salted butter
4 Tbl all purpose flour
2 - 2 1/2 cups milk (I like to use whole or 2%)
1 cup chicken stock (you could use vegetable or more milk for vegetarian option)
1 1/2 cup grated mild cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb large elbow noodles
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbl butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Whisk for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Adjust heat if needed to avoid burning.
Slowly whisk in the milk and stock. Continue whisking and allow the sauce to thicken-slightly simmering-for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Once sauce has thickened add the cheese 1 cup at a time (reserving 1/2 cup of the mild cheddar). Whisk till all cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour pasta into a prepared 9x13 baking dish (I use cooking spray). In a large sealable bag toss bread crumbs and butter till evenly coated. Top pasta with reserve cheese and spread bread crumbs evenly over the pasta. Bake 30 minutes uncovered.