Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese

November 26, 2008


Our Thanksgiving will be spent eating with our families. I will be making my infamous baked mac and cheese. Okay – so it’s actually Alton Brown’s baked mac and cheese – modified.

* 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I usually use 1lb. It’s less cheesy but more to feed all my friends)
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
(I leave this out of my recipe)
* 3 cups milk
* 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced (I leave this out of my recipe)
* 1 bay leaf
(I leave this out of my recipe)
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I leave this out of my recipe)
* 1 large egg
* 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* Fresh black pepper

* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup panko bread crumbs
(I use corn flake crumbs instead)

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.

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