Monday, June 6, 2011

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

There a few foods that fall into my "Favorite" category.

1. Pizza
2. Pizza
3. Mac & Cheese

I know... I'm really sophisticated.  I've had some really good pizza and some really bad pizza (some of which was not made by me).  I've had some really awesome mac & cheese and some not so awesome mac & cheese.  I feel like I'm rambling.  What I'm really trying to say is that most of the mac & cheese I've eaten has been the product of a strange orange powder and thin elbow pasta... the kind that cook within a few minutes.  I graduated to wheat mac & cheese and thought this was an upgrade... another step closer to adulthood.  Well.   Tonight.  I'm an adult. *eek* I've made a grown up version of mac & cheese - thanks to Alton Brown!

I chose his recipe because it was the first recipe to show up on my google search when I searched mac & cheese.  It's pretty good.  I'm just happy that it came out of the oven tasting like mac & cheese.  I'm also happy that I have dinner and lunch for the remainder of the week planned out. yum.

First, go to the grocery store and by all these dang ingredients (it's what responsible adults do, geeze).

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter (I used salted)
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced (I bought the smallest one)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg (I'm pretty sure my egg was medium sized)
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Uhm, how about table salt?  I think this actually could have made a difference... please just use kosher salt.)
Fresh Black pepper (seems like the pre-made stuff will do!)

1. Boil ze pasta, until al dente:

2. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and mustard powder until there are no lumps... for about 5 min.

3.  Add the milk, paprika, bay leaf, onion - let simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Temper the egg by slowly adding small amounts of the hot concoction in #3 until it's warmed up enough to be totally added into the above mixture without curdling and making your mac & cheese, scrambled eggs.  (Yay!  Now we all know what tempering is.)

5. Mix in about 3/4's of the cheddar cheese then add the macaroni to it:

6. Put into a casserole dish and bake at 350F for 30 minutes... and put breadcrumbs on top of it if you really want to. Alton Brown suggested that I saute some panko with butter then put it on top of the mac & cheese to bake... but that was too much work and I didn't find any panko crumbs at the grocery store...  So, instead I just sprinkled breadcrumbs on top of this.

7.  I get a coronary just looking at it.  Yum!  Good news:  I still feel like a kid.

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