Homemade baked macaroni and cheese

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tonight marks day one of the rest of my life! Ever since I was a little girl, I have missed out on the simple joys of macaroni and cheese because I am allergic to whatever the fake cheese is that Kraft invented to season their pasta. Tonight, I decided to overcome my fear of the dish and make it myself. Surely, controlling the ingredients, I would be able to make something I too could have. The Food Network happened to post a recipe today and I knew it was meant to be. Though not made in 5 minutes like the boxed variety, my macaroni and cheese was simple to make and delicious. The best thing though, no allergic reaction! Woo-hoo!

The ingredients for homemade, baked macaroni and cheese are:

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg (I had to look this one up. Temper means to slowly bring the egg temperature up to the temperature of the sauce so not to scramble the egg). Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

In my first post, I vowed to help my friends and readers overcome the macaroni and cheese stage of their lives and start cooking actual dinners. This meal passes the bar by all accounts as it is a sophisticated take on the old blue and orange box. Enjoy!


Jeanne February 7, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

That's great that you found macaroni and cheese that works for you! I can't imagine life without it. It looks delicious!

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