How about feasting on your comfort food today? Did I hear baked macaroni and cheese? Well, then. Here is a classic baked macaroni and cheese for you to try.
Macaroni and cheese, also called mac and cheese or cheese macaroni in American and Canadian English and macaroni pie in Caribbean English, is a dish of English origin. This consists of cooked macaroni pasta and cheese, most commonly cheddar cheese, such as in this recipe. Other ingredients, such as bread crumbs, meat, and vegetables can also be incorporated.
Traditionally, macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven. However, it can also be prepared in a sauce pan on top of the stove or using a packaged mix.
Guess who invented this favourite of yours? No, he was not Italian. And he was not even a chef. Thomas Jefferson. Yes. He brought a pasta machine to America and invented a better pasta machine thereafter, as well as many recipes, one of which is “a pie called macaroni”, which has cooked macaroni, combined with melted butter, salt, and grated cheese, and put in the oven for 15 minutes or more. Exactly, that is your baked macaroni and cheese in the present.
Enough of history. Similar to other dishes, variations now exist for this pasta creation. Some would have layers of pasta and cheese slices, whereas some would just toss macaroni into the cheese sauce and bake as in this recipe.
Now, want to give this a try? Go on. Enjoy!
- 1 (8 ounce) package macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded good quality
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, buttered
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
- In a large saucepan melt butter. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
- Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
- Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
- Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- Turn off flame. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
- Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Note: You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use – once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer – I generally pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; I then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. –