Friday, November 1, 2013

Fun Food Friday- Mac 'N Cheese

When we were in California my sister-in-law Carrie made this Mac 'N Cheese and it was so incredibly delicious I had to get the recipe.  Seriously, after this, you'll just never be able to have the box stuff again. :)  The first time Micah ate it he wasn't a fan (he's a big fan of Easy Mac and I think he just thought it looked funny because the noodles are bigger).  But once he actually gave it a shot he downed it, as did Jonathan and David.  I put bacon in it (and of course I used pre-cooked bacon because I'm lazy that way :)), but you can put in whatever addition you'd want.  I think steak sounds really good, my sister-in-law really wants to try jalapenos in it but my brother isn't into that spicy so I don't think she's tried it yet, but if you're a fan of spice, that could be good too.  And just beware, if you're making it for more than 5-6 people, you're definitely going to need to double it because it disappears.  :)  Enjoy!

Ingredients: Butter, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Milk, Elbow Macaroni Noodles, Salt, Pepper, Bread Crumbs, Flour
Start by boiling some water and adding 2 cups of macaroni noodles (about 1/2 of a pound box)
In a saucepan melt 3 Tablespoons of butter

When that is melted add 3 Tablespoons of flour

Whisk it continuously until it comes to a boil

Boil for 1 minute (this gets rid of the flour taste), whisking continuously

Slowly and while whisking (you do not want that flour/butter mixture to burn) pour in 1 1/4 cups of milk and stir until the flour/butter mixture is combined with the milk.  Continue stirring until the milk comes to a boil and thickens (make sure you don't have the heat on too high, again, you don't want it to burn)
Add some salt...
And pepper (I used white pepper because (a) I have it and (b) then you don't see the black specks in your cheese, but if you don't have it just go ahead and use black pepper)
Add 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese.  I add the cheese one cup at a time, stirring after each cup so it doesn't get overwhelming to stir.
(I will say that I am normally not a fan of sharp cheddar cheese, but seriously, for this, you need it to give it a good cheesy flavor, regular cheddar is just too mild)

Stir until the cheese is all melted and you have this fabulous creamy cheese sauce (If it seems too thick just go ahead and add a little milk)

Drain the pasta...

And return to pan

Add the cheese sauce

And stir until the pasta is coated.  I add most of it at first, stir, and then add the rest.  It will seem really cheesy but as it bakes the pasta will soak up the cheese sauce, so you want to make sure it's really saucy.

Add some cut up bacon

And mix together.

And if you're like me while doing this you'll get a tug on your leg, look down and see this, and just have to take a picture :)  I think he had just woken up from his nap.

Pour into a greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes...

Take it out of the oven, give it a good stir...

And cover with bread crumbs.  Put back in the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes.

And there you go, incredibly delicious Mac 'N Cheese

 David checking it out and then going for it!

 Jonathan doing the same

Micah just went for it right away :)

It was a fun night at the dinner table that night :)

 Mac 'N Cheese
2 cups dry elbow macaroni pasta
3 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
1 1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
Bread crumbs

Cook the pasta in boiling water.  In a saucepan melt butter, then add flour, whisking continuously.  Boil mixture for 1 minute.  While continuing to whisk add milk and stir until all combined.  Bring milk to boil, whisking often, until the milk thickens.  Then add salt and pepper, stir.  Add cheese one cup at a time, stirring in between.  Drain pasta.  Add cheese sauce to pasta.  Add bacon.  Pour into a greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  After 20 minutes take out of the oven, stir and add bread crumbs on top.

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