June 23, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella


It's the hottest day of the year at 96 degrees. I am completely caught up with my transcription work, my air conditioner is cranked way up and I am in between loads of laundry. I have had a hankering for some homemade macaroni and cheese the past few days, so my daughter and I decided to make some. Today marks the first day of allowing her to help cook over a hot stove (she is 5 1/2 years old). I was so nervous but, other than nearly pouring some of the milk all over the counter, she did a fabulous job. What a big step this is!


Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained well
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 3/4 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided 
  • 1/2 c Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • (Optional) 2 tbsp c panko breadcrumbs or dried breadcrumbs 
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted 
Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, melt 3 tbsp of butter over low heat.  Whisk in the flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion salt and paprika, until well combined.  Continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the milk.  Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.



Stir 1/2 c of the cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese and mozzarella cheese into the saucepan.

Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir well to combine.


Pour the mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c of cheddar cheese on top.  Sprinkle the Panko breadcrumbs or dried breadcrumbs evenly over the top.  Drizzle the melted butter over all.



Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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