Tuesday, October 4, 2011

baked macaroni and cheese

There is the blue box that you will find in most pantries of homes with kids. You don't find it in this home.  I have never liked macaroni and cheese.  The powdered cheese just freaked me out as a child and I never got over it.  Some moms made it runny and others made it clumpy and chunky and then there were the moms that added things like peas and bacon in it.  I wanted none of it.  It still makes me cringe.  I don't make it for my kids.  I made it once and Brad put ketchup on his and that just took me to a new gross out level.  This is probably going to result in some life long damage to my kids but, I will deal with that in counseling 10 years from now.  Because I never liked the boxed stuff I kinda shunned the homemade gourmet versions as well. At Carter's party I thought I would made a homemade version for the kids.  I tore this out of People magazine and I have been watching Alton on the Best Thing I Ever Ate. I am always pleased with his choices so, I was hoping his mac and cheese would be a winner.  I like the quirky, brainy, foodie guys.  The kids were not a fan.  They like the blue box.  The adults really liked it.  I don't have much to compare it to but, I like that it was not overly cheesy and that you could taste the pasta, creamy cheese and the panko crunch on top was a nice finish.  I would definitely make this again even if the kids revolt.  More for me.  I have a lot of catching up to do on my mac and cheese consumption.
baked macaroni and cheese
source: alton brown
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

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.


That Girl said...

I love that we're the same with that blue box.

Joanne said...

Eh you can't go by what kids think. I feel like most kids are served blue box and so when they taste the real thing, they just don't like it. My mom only made us homemade mac and cheese so now I can't STAND the blue box. This, though...sounds amazing.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Oh girl, I must admit I was a Kraft Mac and Cheese fan growing up. It is all we had in the mac and cheese department as my mom was not much of a fan of the stuff period so if we wanted it we made it from the box. However, with that said, I am like you and no boxes in this house. I love homemade version and I have tried altons recipe before. It is killer good and you did it proud

Anonymous said...

Confession: I used to be a huge Kraft mac and cheese fan when I was young. But, we really only ate it when we had a babysitter. Nowadays, I'm definitely with you, and make pretty much everything from scratch. Homemade is just so much tastier!

vianney/sweet life said...

I'm with you I have always hated the blue box, homemade always rocks!! ketchup? sounds lke something my hubby would do, lol

sarah@totalbassetcase.com said...

If there was one to win you over, this one looks like it might be the one!

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