Mac & Cheese is an all-time favorite and there’s a good reason – it’s delicious. Now I don’t wanna knock KD or anything like that, but trust me when I say this home made baked Mac & Cheese is a cut above when you’re looking to impress.
- 12 Ounces Grate English Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Cups Dry Scooby Doo Pasta
- 7 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tbs Dry Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 Cup diced Onion
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Bring pot of water and salt to a boil (as big a pot as you have for pasta) and pre-heat your oven to 350F.
Add the pasta to the water and bring back to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil turn the heat down to medium and cook for EXACTLY 6 minutes. After the six minutes, remove the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
The next step is to make a rue which will eventually get turned into the cheese sauce. Melt 3 Tbs of butter over medium heat. Make sure the butter is finished foaming and bubbling, this indicates all the water has been removed and you’re left with milk solids. Once the butter is ready, whisk in 3 Tbs of flour to the pan. Continue to whisk and keep cooking the butter and flour until a nice blonde color is achieved. At this point the rue will be ready for the rest of the ingredients.
When the rue is ready, add 1 Tbs dry mustard powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 cup diced onion, 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp kosher salt. Mix all the spices into your rue and cook them out for a few minutes to really impart the flavor into the sauce. Next, slowly pour 3 cups of milk into the sauce. It will steam a little so be careful not to hurt yourself. Keep whisking until the sauce starts to bubble and thickens up drastically. Once the sauce has thickened you can remove the bay leaf.
Next we want to add 1 egg, but we have to temper the egg first so we don’t get scrambled egg. Put your egg in a coffee mug and add 1-2 Tbs of the sauce, then whisk them together with a fork. This allows the egg to come up to temperature slowly, allowing you to mix it into the sauce without scrambling the egg. Once you have tempered your eggs you add the egg back into the sauce and whisk quickly. If you don’t want to add the egg you don’t really have to either – the sauce is good without it too.
Next you want to add 8 ounces (3/4) of your cheese to the sauce. Work it into the sauce by slowly stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. Next fold in your half-cooked pasta into the sauce. Add the pasta and sauce mixture to your casserole dish. It’s best to use a round casserole dish to avoid dry corners.
Finally we want to add the breadcrumb topping. For the topping, add 4 Tbs of melted butter to the 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs. In my opinion, panko are the best crumb you can use for this dish because they will get extra crisp due to their abundance of jagged edges. Add the topping to the top of the casserole.
Bake in your 350F oven for 30 minutes. When it comes out of the oven it will be hella hot so be careful! Also I forgot to take a picture once the dish was baked like an idiot – so my bad on that one.
This dish can be frozen very easily (and to great results). Make sure to portion individually before freezing. I recommend freezing in an individual sized disposable baking pan. Be sure to cool off the dish in the fridge for at least an hour or two before freezing. This way the water molecules will not expand as rapidly and you’ll get a better freeze.
As always thank you for reading and if you try out this recipe let me know how it goes in the comments below. Please also let me know any recipes, cuisines or techniques you want to know more about and I’ll try my best to either share something I’ve already done or find something new.