Ain't nothin' like some good ol' comfort food!
Complexity Level: Easy
Makes 6-8 servingsOld School Baked Mac N' Cheese
What You Need:
1 16 oz. bag Macaroni Noodles
5 cups Cheddar Cheese*
2 1/2 cups Milk
1 cup Butter
1 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp Hot Sauce
*You are encouraged to mix up the cheese! Gouda, Fontina, Smoked Gouda, Asiago, Blue Cheese, etc. Make it fun, make it unique, make it yours!
Bread Crumb Topping (Mix and set aside)
1/2 cup Plain Bread Crumbs
3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
Pinch Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
To start, heat the butter and flour in a large sauce pan. This is going to be your roux. If this is your first time making a roux, you will want to tell me right now "Aimee, you're nuts! This will burn!". This is a natural thought and I encourage that you simple ignore it ;)
The flour and butter will cook together, but do be sure to stir it often as the butter melts. Once combined it will coat the bottom of the sauce pan, and look like a thick paste. Let this cook 2 minutes, stirring often, until it is a nice blonde color.
At this point, whisk the milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce in a separate bowl, then add to the roux. I like to use Whole Milk for this, but it is OK to use whichever you prefer! We tried this recipe with Skim, and it was still super tasty and rich.
Once the milk is stirred in you may notice it is very thick. You can add up to 3/4 cup more milk if desired. I like a good thick mac, so I say play it by eye. Either way, now that the milk and roux are one, add your cheese and stir it together.
Remove the sauce pan from heat. It is OK if not all the cheese is melted, as you will then get some extra gooey bites later on.
Next, crack your eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them with drops of the warm roux cheese mixture. This is a step that will let you tempure the eggs. If you skip this and add them directly to the cheese, they will scramble... and then you're not making dinner you're making breakfast (which is a whole different post)!
The tempured eggs can then be added to the cheese mixture. Using a spatula stir until combined. It is now time to build yourself a delicious Mac N' Cheese casserole.
Grease a 9X13in baking dish. Stir you Macaroni into the Cheese mixture, then pour into your baking dish. Finally, top with the Parmesan and Bread crumb mixture. I added a few pieces of butter atop this to melt into the bred crumbs, but this is an optional step if you are trying to cut fat when possible.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and serve! I like my Mac with some fresh parsley and sliced tomatoes, but it doesn't half to stop there!
This is amazing even the next day as a leftover! In fact, you could go crazy and deep fry leftovers to make deep fried Mac N Cheese bites!
I hope you enjoy this cheesy feast!