Friday, June 10, 2011

Baked Mac and Cheese

I’ve made homemade macaroni and cheese a few times, and it was always good but I never followed a “recipe”.  My friend Amiee (from my college days) also has a blog and posted this.  This recipe has been slightly adapted to suit my family and the ingredients I usually have on hand. It is way tastier than any of the concoctions I’ve made in the past, and I get consistently awesome results. 

Baked Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Amiee @

8 oz large elbow macaroni
2/3 lb Cheddar/Colby Jack/whatever your preference, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cans evaporated milk
6-8 slices of American cheese, unwrapped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 stick of butter, sliced
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 ½ cup bread crumbs (I always make fresh – just put 2-3 slices of bread into the food processor and pulse into crumbs)
Tony Chachere’s seasoning
Boil pasta in a large pot, according to package directions. Drain. Pour noodles back into the same pot. Toss in butter slices. Mix until melted. Pour in all the evaporated milk. Then add the shredded cheese. Add seasoning and taste your mixture until it tastes salted enough. Once you think you've got that part right, add the beaten egg. Mix well. Pour half your mixture into a small casserole dish (8x8 or equivalent).  Randomly scatter half of your cream cheese cubes and press them down.  Then top with your American cheese slices – you may only need 4 of them. Add the rest of your pasta mixture and top with the rest of your cream cheese cubes.  Mix the melted tablespoon of butter and the bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over the top of your Mac and Cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until sides are nice and bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

This is the perfect amount of food to use as a side dish for 6-8 people. I’ve heard it reheats well, but we’ve never had leftovers.  Since this is a very rich dish, I usually serve it with something light like grilled chicken and a salad.  I’m sure it could also be fancied up by using stronger regional cheeses, adding broccoli to your pot of boiling pasta (then making it the same way), or by adding cubed turkey, chicken or ham.  Enjoy!

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