Comfort Food – Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Pasta and melted cheese topped with a toasty crumb crust….no need to say anything else.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Baked Macaroni & Cheese
You can mix it up a bit with your cheese selection. If your audience is under 12, stick with the aged cheddar, gruyere, or mozarella types but, if this is an adult-oriented dish, you may want to consider incorporating something in the blue family or a nice Fontina. You know, something with a bit of “nose” to it…

  • small glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 3 Tbps. butter
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 3 c. warm milk (do warm it up…it does make a difference)
  • 4 c. of grated cheese that melts well, whatever you fancy
  • 3 Tbsp. butter + 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. bread crumbs (fairly fine)
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan

1) Preheat oven to 350 F

2) Find an oven proof casserole dish and oil the bottom and the sides lightly.

3) Heat up the olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften.

4) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente (or still slightly firm). Drain and cover while you work on your cheese sauce.

5) In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt 3 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the flour and stir well. Allow it a few minutes so that the flour cook but be careful not to burn it…the taste will overpower your sauce.

6) Add the warm milk to the flour/butter mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so, using your whisk to combine everything.

7) Now, the magic. Add all 4 c. of whatever cheese you have chosen. That is correct…add it all.

8) Stir around until all the cheese has melted. Add to your pasta and cover while you whip up the topping.

9) In the same saute pan you used for the onions, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter. When it is beginning to foam, add the breadcrumbs. Stir them around and cook until they begin to turn a golden brown. You should be able to smell them toasting…

10) Once your breadcrumbs are done, transfer your mac n’ cheese to the casserole dish you prepared earlier and top with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle with the 1/3 c. Parmesan.

11) Cove with foil for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and turn your oven to broil for 5 minutes.

Serve this with Individual Meatloaves or with a nice green salad.

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