Friday, July 20

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

This just may be the perfect macaroni & cheese recipe. It is the best I have ever had. My only complaint? I didn't make enough. Between the three of us, it was gone in minutes. I will be doubling the recipe next time and there will be a next time.

Also, a note for the grated cheese. I used 1 cup sharp cheddar and 1 cup medium cheddar. I love the extra flavor sharp cheddar adds. It can be a bit strong on it's own though. The combo of the two cheeses is the perfect blend, in my humble baking opinion. 

Let's get started.

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
4  TBLS. margarine
2 cups grated cheddar cheese, packed
salt & pepper, to taste
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
cayenne pepper, to taste

Heat the milk in a large saucepan until steamy. Stir in the elbow macaroni. Let come to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until done. The macaroni should absorb the majority of the milk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When the macaroni is just about done, melt the margarine in a separate saucepan, stir in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Stir often until the cheese is melted. 

When the cheese has melted and is smooth, add the macaroni and stir until blended. Taste and add more spices if desired.

Place mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let set for 5-10 minutes after removing it from the oven before serving. 

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