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Mac n cheese Recipe

Mac n cheese Recipe

Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese: A Classic Comfort Food Made Easy

This recipe offers a delightful take on the classic mac and cheese, boasting a rich and creamy homemade cheese sauce that perfectly coats every bite of the pasta. It's surprisingly simple to make, requiring minimal ingredients and coming together in under an hour.

Ingredients:

  • For the Macaroni:

    • 12 ounces dried elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta shape
  • For the Creamy Cheese Sauce:

    • ¼ cup unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups whole milk
    • 1 cup light cream (around 10-12% milk fat)
    • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of cheddar soup (optional)
    • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Before you begin, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). This ensures the casserole bakes to bubbly perfection later.

  2. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions for al dente pasta (usually around 8-10 minutes). Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it briefly under cold water to stop the cooking process.

  3. Melt the Butter: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter.

  4. Roux Time!: Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. This roux will be the base for the creamy cheese sauce.

  5. Whisk in the Liquids: Slowly whisk in the milk and cream, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly.

  6. Flavor Boost: Add the dry mustard powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

  7. Cheese Paradise: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and 3 cups of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt until smooth and creamy.

  8. Soup It Up (Optional): If you're using condensed cream of cheddar soup, stir it in at this point and let it melt completely.

  9. Combine and Coat: In a large bowl, toss the cooked and drained macaroni with the prepared cheese sauce. Ensure all the pasta pieces are well coated.

  10. Pour and Top: Transfer the cheesy macaroni mixture to a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the top.

  11. Bake to Bubbly Goodness: Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for 18-24 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and the top is golden brown.

  12. Cool and Serve: Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the cheese sauce to set slightly and prevents burning mouths! Enjoy this heartwarming and delicious homemade mac and cheese!

Tips:

  • For an extra layer of flavor, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce for a subtle kick.
  • Leftover mac and cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan or oven until warmed through.
  • Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Gruyere, Monterey Jack, or fontina cheese would all be delicious additions to the cheddar cheese.

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