Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Several years ago, Shonna and I went on a Mother/ Daugther adventure to New York City.  At my niece's recommendation, we ventured into Harlem to eat at Amy Ruth's.  We were the only white people in the place.  We sampled yummy Southern comfort food, including fried chicken, waffles, collard greens and the most delcious macaroni and cheese I'd ever eaten.  Since then, both Shonna and I have been on a quest to find the perfect Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  Since my husband doesn't much care for macaroni and cheese, I don't try very often, but the other day, I gave it another shot.  It was delicious- moist and creamy and oh, so comforting.  

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 T. powdered mustard
3 cups whole milk
1/2 onion, diced or equivalent dried onion flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp salt (more to our taste)
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 T. melted butter
Heat oven to 350
In a large pot, heat water with lots of salt.  Cook the macaroni just to el dente.  Don't overcook.
While the pasta's cooking, melt the butter in a large pan or skillet.  Whisk in the flou and mustard and cook and stir for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf and paprika.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the bay leaf (if you can find the dang thing!)   In a small bowl, beat the egg.  Put a couple of tablespoons of the milk mixture into the egg and stir and stir.  Add a little more milk mixture to the egg and stir and stir.  Do it again.  Then add the egg to the milk mixture.  Put about 3/4 of the cheese into the milk mixture and combine well.  Add the drained macaroni and combine.  Pour into a greased casserole dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Mix the bread crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.  

Recipe from Alton Brown on

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