Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

I decided to go with macaroni and cheese for our 4th of July cookout.  I was going to make macaroni salad but frankly, I don't like cold macaroni salad.  Call me unsouthern, I don't care.

This is my first time making this version of macaroni and cheese.  I keep hearing from people that it's the best version that they have ever had.  I figured that if that many people say it's good that it must be worth a shot, so I made a test batch for my mom, aunt, grandma, and sister.

Macaroni and Cheese:
(adapted from Pioneer Woman)

4 cups of elbow macaroni
½ stick of regular, salted butter
4 tbls all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 egg
1 pound of cheese: This time I used White Cheddar and Swiss.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta but be sure to leave it a bit undercooked since it'll be going in the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Set aside. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt 1/2 stick of butter.  Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons flour.

Whisk the mixture together over medium-low heat until totally combined, make sure it doesn't burn.  Then continue cooking for around 5 minutes, whisking constantly.  Pour in 2 1/2 cups whole milk.  Immediately dump in 2 heaping teaspoons of dry mustard.

Now, whisk the mixture together and cook for about 5 minutes. It will get extremely thick, almost like a cream gravy.

At that point, reduce the heat to low. Use a 1/4 cup measure to retrieve a small amount of the sauce.

Pour the small amount of sauce into the beaten egg slowly.  Begin whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Whisk until cooled.  Then dump the tempered egg into the pan. Whisk together until combined.

Now dump in all but about 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.  Stir together until it’s all melted and turn off the heat.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Add plenty of pepper.  Now just dump in the drained, not-fully-cooked macaroni. 

Pour into a baking dish, add more cheese on top, bake for 20-25 minutes.

I can't wait until I get to make this again.  Everyone at my house loved it. 

Here's my confession.  I used more than 1 pound of cheese.  I probably used a pound and a half.  I'm a little obsessed with cheese though.

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