Baked Macaroni and Cheese

While most of the recipes I post are something I’ve made fairly recently, I do have some rather old pictures of things I made but have yet to put on the blog.  This is one of those recipes – when I saw the picture sitting in my “food to blog” folder, I was thrown off by the blue tablecloth, which I haven’t seen in years.  I think this was also probably the last time I made macaroni and cheese… all the way back in March 2010.  Even though it’s only been four years, that seems like a lifetime ago.  I was still in graduate school, living in DC.  I’ve lived in two different places since this picture was taken; started a new job and moved to a new city.  Over the past four years, we’ve eliminated most pasta from our diet, but suddenly I have a craving to bring back this old favorite. baked macaroni and cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Alton Brown Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 6 ounces Monterrey Jack, grated
  • 1 cup panko

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook the pasta to al dente in a large pot of boiling, salted water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Whisk in the flour and mustard for several minutes, until smooth and thick.  Stir in the milk, cream, onion, and paprika.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Temper in the egg, and stir in 4 ounces of each cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the sauce and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan and toss the panko to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes.