Monday, August 2, 2010

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy. I actually posted this picture a LONG time ago. But never got around to blogging it. I don't make macaroni and cheese often, but this is an easy recipe. I usually wing it because it's so easy. You can use pulse a couple pieces of bread for the bread crumbs or use panko. I also included instructions on freezing this at the bottom.
1 stick of butter
6 tablespoons flour
pepper (finely ground white if you have it)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
a few dashes of hot sauce (optional to taste)
3 cups milk*
1 cup cream (you can use all milk also)
4 cups good quality shredded cheese (cheddar, Gruyere, jack cheeses or a combination of your favorites)
1 pound cooked macaroni
1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon of butter

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat until melted and foamy.

Add the flour. Stir in seasonings.

Cook until flour smells nutty and not raw.
Whisk in the milk and cream a little at a time to prevent lumps. 
Cook until steaming.

Whisk in cheese until it's smooth.

*you can add more milk at any point to thin out your sauce if it's too thick.*

Remove from heat. Fold in the noodles.
Transfer to a buttered 9x13inch baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. If you don't want to melt the butter and mix it with the breadcrumbs, you can use dry breadcrumbs/panko and dot the top with butter.
Cook in a 400 degree oven until brown. about 15-20 minutes. 
**You can also freeze the mac and cheese. Let it cool once you've folded in the noodles. To bake let it thaw, cook covered with foil until almost heated through at 375 degrees. Uncover, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and let them brown at 400 degrees.
When freezing this make the sauce a little more runny that you'd like, it will bake up nice and thick for you.**
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