Friday, May 7, 2010

Baked Mac n'Cheese

It's been a while since my last cooking post! Life is so busy between job(s) (yes-plural), buying a house, getting ready to move into the house, taking care of puppies, etc., etc., etc. Daniel and I were at the gym tonight (yes-on a Friday night---we lead exciting lives) and I just told him that I wish there were 40 hours in a day. 24 is just not enough! But, I guess I would fill the 40 hours just like I seem to fill up the 24...ugh. Other than keeping very busy, life has been good. I (we) are so blessed!

Tonight I actually got to cook a home-made meal. I was so happy to get in the kitchen (other than re-heating leftovers or making a super simple dinner) and take time to cook a good meal. Daniel is a huge fan of Mac n'Cheese, so I thought I'd make this for him. :) My stomach doesn't do too well with cheese, plus I don't really enjoy it...but I still love a good mac n'cheese and pizza once in blue moon. I just have to prepare myself for the pain later....

Anyways, we found this "Baked Macaroni and Cheese" recipe from Alton Brown in a "People" Magazine. We thought it looked good, so gave it a try. We both agreed that it was very good, but it was very different from any mac n'cheese we've had. It had quite a bit of onion flavor, and it wasn't as cheesy as I thought it may be. I was happy about this, but it was odd though because the recipe did have a good amount of cheese in it. If you'd like to try a different (but good!) mac n'cheese, I suggest you give this a try.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard (I used 1 tsp. of reg. mustard, b/c did not have powdered on hand)
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 panko 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. 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.

...That's it for now, folks. I am making a yummy dinner of fish tacos, black bean salad, and more for Mother's Day on Sunday. Mom and Dad are coming over for dinner and to give us updates on James since they are there this weekend visiting (well my Mom has been there all week). :) I've been up since 5:15 am and have to work 9-5 tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me...oh I'm so lame on a Friday night...

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