Sunday, March 9, 2008

Creamy Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese. Baked mac and cheese is a lovely comfort food that's great for lunch or dinner. Use whatever kind of noodles you like when you make it. Shells hold the sauce inside and make it extra creamy though so when you make this dish, consider that. You can use any kind of past you prefer.

Use as many kinds of cheese as you like as well. The more cheese, the better although cheddar should be used in the largest quantity. Is there too much cheese, ever? No way! This macaroni and cheese recipe is based on my most commonly made one although I can make it with any combination of cheeses available to me.

One of the important things to remember when you make the pasta is to cook it al dente. Because it's going to bake in the oven take a minute or two off the cooking time so it's not mush.

Second most important thing is to make enough sauce soupy so that it doesn't dry up. When you bake your mac and cheese in the oven, don't bake too long or your liquid will evaporate and the result will be dried out macaroni.

Cream Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4-6

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray your casserole dish with Pam Cooking spray or grease it with butter or coconut oil to keep it from sticking.

3/4 of a 900g bag of your favourite pasta. I love doing this with shells. Butter and salt the cooking water to keep the pasta from sticking and to give the pasta flavour.

Drain the pasta and set aside. If you can, time the pasta to be ready around the time the sauce is ready. Sauce only takes 10-15 minutes.

-melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then throw in 2 table spoons of flour and stir until it looks like paste. Turn heat down a little for a few minutes

-Add 3 cups of milk and whisk on lower heat and then start piling in the cheese. I usually shred a 600g bar of cheddar and put half in the sauce and half on the top of the casserole at the end. Stir all the cheese you want in slowly. I usually add a few spponfuls of Parmasean or Romano, a few spoonfuls of cream cheese and plenty of cheddar. Put some salt and pepper and a pinch of Mrs. Dash if you like a bit of extra flavour.

Mix your macaroni with your sauce and put in your casserole dish. It should look really soupy. Then, cover the top with loads of shredded cheese. Then if you like, put a light sprinkle of breadcrumbs (optional). I top it off with a few pats of butter and some salt and pepper on top.

Pop in the oven and cook until golden and slightly crispy but not too crispy otherwise your sauce will have evaporated.


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