I know, I know. Mac and cheese. How boring. However, mac & cheese is one of my all time favorite comfort foods and I've searched high and low for the *perfect* recipe. This is offically the only recipe I use for mac & cheese and it comes from one of my food network favorites, Alton Brown. I play around with the recipe in terms of using different cheeses, toppings, noodles, etc. but I always use this base recipe because my husband and I just love it and can't get enough of it. Enjoy!
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni(I used Rotini last time and it was really great!)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard (I don't have powdered, so I just squirt in a little yellow mustard and it always tastes great!)
- 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 (I don't use the butter, I just sprinkle Panko on top!)
- 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.
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.
Melt the butter in a saute 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.
Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.