Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I tried out a recipe along time ago for baked macaroni and cheese but for some reason people didn’t eat it.  I researched a couple more recipes but none of them were appealing.  I came across a recipe on the back of the elbow noodle bag that went something like this:

Ingredients

32 oz elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

Boil noodles.  Saute onions in butter, add flour, add milk.  When thickened, add everything else.

I recently watched Good Eats where they featured Macaroni and Cheese and I learned that what needs to happen is to create a cheesy roux.  There are different levels of roux and they are classified by their color.  For this case, we want to keep a white roux (don’t keep it on the stove too long).

The Good Eats version is on FoodTv.com.  I’ve created a version built off of that one.  Here it is:


Ingredients

32 ounces elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
2 large egg
8 ounces Kraft Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded
4 ounces Baby Belle Soft Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Saute the onions.  Once the onions are browned, whisk in the flour.  After cooking flour for about 5 minutes (until you make a white sauce roux), stir in the milk.

Temper in the eggs. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Once the sauce has thickened, fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Top the dish with bread crumbs

So what’s different?  I’m not using sharp cheddar cheese.  As rich and tasty as it sounds, there are a good number of people who don’t eat sharp cheese.  Using a milder set of cheeses I was able to match the palette of more people.

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