Mac and Cheese







This is pure comfort food.


Cheese:

You can use any cheese that melts well for mac and cheese. You'll want to avoid using pre-shredded cheese. They are coated with anti-caking agents so they don't melt as welland can make your sauce grainy. Cheeses that melt well: Cheddar Mozzarella Gouda Havarti Gruyere Parmesan Brie Fontina Monterey Jack Colby Jack Pepper Jack Gorgonzola

Considerations:


Prep time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Total time from start to finish: About an hour


What you need:


Food Items:


Non-stick cooking spray or a little extra butter to grease your baking dish


Pasta:

1 lb elbow noodles

2 TBS butter


Topping:

1 c. Panko breadcrumbs

1 1/2 TBS butter, melted

1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Sauce:

1/2 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup flour

4 cups milk, warmed

2 cups heavy cream, warmed

6 cups shredded cheese (don't use pre-shredded), approximately 16 oz

1 1/2 tsp salt (you should taste it after your sauce comes together and add more if needed. Cheese is salty, so be careful about adding more until you taste it.)

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp white pepper (can use black if you prefer, but you will see the little black flecks in your pasta)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

A dash of nutmeg (optional)

Equipment

9x13 baking pan

Large pot to boil noodles

Bowl to melt butter for topping

Strainer to drain the noodles

Medium, heavy-bottomed pot to make the sauce

Cheese grater or food processor

Whisk

How to:


https://www.tiktok.com/@ltcwmomma/video/7072413919830265134


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Spray your baking pan with non-stick cooking spray or coat it will a little butter

  • Set out your cheese while you prep. It should be close to room temp.

  • Bring pasta to a boil, and cook for the time on the package minus 1 minute.

  • Mix in 2 TBS butter and set aside while you make the sauce

  • Melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat.

  • Once melted, add flour and cook while stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes.

  • Whisk in your milk and cream. Whisk as you pour it in to avoid lumps.

  • Add your seasonings

  • Bring the mixture up to a slow boil, stirring frequently. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to avoid burning.

  • Once you're about to dip a spoon into the sauce and drag a line down the back and the sauce doesn't run back over to fill in the clean spot, your sauce is ready for the cheese.

  • Take your pot off the heat and add your cheese, whisk it in. It doesn't have to be completely melted, but it will likely melt quickly.

  • Pour the sauce into the noodles and stir to combine.

  • Pour mac and cheese into your baking dish.

  • Mix Panko and Parmesan.

  • Melt 1 1/2 TBS butter and mix into the Panko/Parmesan mixture until combined.

  • Sprinkle topping over mac and cheese.

  • Bake for about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.



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