Thursday, June 19, 2014

Baked Mac and Cheese

Most everyone loves mac and cheese, but not everyone realizes how easy it is to bake it up, hot and fresh! My sweet mother-in-law taught me how to make this and I am eternally grateful.

The following is her recipe, tweaked a little over the years to the tastes of my fellas.

Baked Mac and Cheese

Pan - this recipe is for either a large baking dish or 2 smaller ones. I like to make it in 2 pans ... I do not bake the second one, but wrap well and freeze it for easy dinner side later.

1 box macaroni
1 stick of butter
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I tend to use a little more)
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk … 1/2 cup at a time 
shredded cheese ... Cheese is to YOUR taste ... sharp cheddar is a great basic, but you can add others. I use 2 cups of sharp cheddar, 2 handfuls of colby jack and 1 handful of mozzarella. You will also need cheese to top in the last 10 minutes of cooking - I use what is left of the colby jack.

Pre-heat oven 350

Spray pan(s) with non-stick spray
  (I like to do this, but I know some folks do not)

par boil macaroni with salt

  • in heavy pot, melt butter
  • add salt, pepper, flour … STIR!
  • add milk, 1/2 cup at a time … keep stirring!
  • when slow boil, add cheese a handful at a time ... keep stirring! 
  • add splashes of milk if the mixture is becoming too thick
when cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, start gently mixing in macaroni a cup or so at a time until it is all mixed 

Scoop mixture in to pan(s) 
  **at this point, if you are saving a pan for later, wrap it well and put in freezer.

Bake for 20 minutes ... cover top in remaining cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes 
  ** if cooking the frozen one, bake for 40 minutes, then cover with remaining cheese and bake additional 10 minutes

Remove and let set/cool for 5 minutes

Enjoy and bask in the warmth of mac and cheese!

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