Monday, April 21, 2008

Mac & Cheese

Dan's finally well enough that we were able to make some 'Mac & Cheese'. I had an aversion to macaroni noodles for many years, so I still make my Mac & Cheese with other types of pasta. My favorite is radiatore, but tonight we went with penne. We also added baco-bits, and topped it off with some chicken (for Dan) and chik'n strips for me. I used a mix of sharp cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella and parmesan, and went with panko bread crumbs for the topping. I liked the end result, particularly the crispiness of the panko and the added color and flavor that the baco-bits added.

Mac & Cheese
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbspn melted butter
8 oz penne
2 Tbspn butter
1 small white onion, minced
1 Tbspn all purpose flour
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tspn dry mustard
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup cheddar
1/2 cup gruyere
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup bacon bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 qt casserole dish. Place bread crumbs into a small bowl and mix well with melted butter. Set aside. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, then place into prepared casserole dish. While pasta is cooking, melt 2 Tbspn butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in minced onion and cook until softened and transluscent (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour, pepper, salt, and dry mustard until incorporated, then pour in milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring constantly until the milk has thickened (about 10 minutes). Take the milk off the heat and stir in the cheeses until melted. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta, sprinkle bacon bits evenly over the surface, then sprinkle evenly with buttered bread crumbs. Bake until the top is golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from

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