Friday, June 7, 2013

Best Mac and Cheese?

I was craving mac and cheese, so I googled best mac and cheese recipe. Lo and behold, this recipe must be what the internet unanimously agreed upon because it was the first result. 

I tried making it and I was sadly a little disappointed. Not in the flavor, not at all, that was spot on. But the texture was a little grainy. It was  better the next day after being microwaved because it seemed like the graininess melted away into the sauce overnight. I don't think there is something wrong with the recipe though, but rather something to do with my technique, because grainy mac and cheese has been a problem for me for awhile now (this one being a little more noticeable than usual though). Don't let this deter you from trying to make this though, because it's simple and fab, and if you manage to get a velvety smooth sauce, please provide tips.

(According to the Internet)
Recipe from Kitchen Treaty

  • 8 oz. shells, penne, or elbows
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 3 cups medium cheddar cheese, grated
  • I added bread crumbs and bacon because...why not?

Cook your shells to al dente - I swear shells is the best type of pasta for mac because it has these generous pockets to hold the cheese sauce. Mmmm.

While the shells were cooking, fry up your optional bacon. By optional though I don't really mean optional, as it'll bring this dish to the next level. Cut the bacon into pieces once properly fried.

When the shells and bacon are ready, preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter over medium heat on stovetop.

Add flour, salt, mustard, pepper, and smoked paprika. Stir constantly for three minutes.

Stir in milk and whisk frequently for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened considerably.

Turn off the heat and stir in 2 cups of sauce until it's melted.

Mmmm cheese sauce. Add in pasta and stir well.

The recipe calls for laying the remaining cup of cheddar with the pasta before baking. But... I only had two cups of cheddar and I was too lazy to make a grocery run. So instead, I skipped the layering step and topped my mac with bread crumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned on top. 

Top with bacon and serve. Unless you skipped the bacon, in which case you should cry a little inside.

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