Sunday, April 28, 2013

Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Helllloo! I'm so excited to share this super creamy, cheesy and dreamy mac & cheese with you! This is comfort food at it's best. Just give me a bowl of this, with nothing else, and I'm a happy girl :) Totally trying to sneak this post in while my daughter naps, so let's get right to it! 

16 oz Elbow Pasta
2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 Cups American Cheese, shredded (i'm not talking about Velveeta here, go to the deli at the grocery store and instead of getting sliced cheese, ask for a 8 oz piece, if they can only do sliced, that's fine - you can just chop it up at home into small pieces)
2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
4 Tablespoons Butter, plus more for greasing dish
4 Tablespoons Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot add enough water to boil your pasta according to the package directions. When the water comes to a boil, add a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of salt. Cook your pasta until al dente (firm but not hard), check it around 5-7 minutes. Once done, drain your pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process; set aside.

On medium heat, in the same pot you boiled your pasta, add your butter, and once melted, add in your flour and whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes, until it turns about the color of sand. 

Slowly pour in your milk, while vigorously whisking at the same time until all of the flour mixture has dissolved in the milk. Bring to a slight simmer.

Reserve 3/4 cup of your cheddar cheese, then add the rest to the pot along with the american and stir it until combined. Stir in the ground mustard, and salt & pepper, making sure to taste as you go so the seasonings are just right for you. 

Dump the pasta into the pout and mix everything together. Get a large baking dish and butter it on the bottom and the sides. Pour your pasta into the dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes , turning the broiler on for the last 3 or so minutes, if desired. *This can also just be eaten straight from the pot without putting it in the oven.

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