Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cheesy Mac and Cheese

Okay, so I'm pretty sure this is the third Mac and Cheese recipe I've posted. The issue is, each one is a little different. The last one I posted in my post entitled 'Quarantine' made a drier Mac and Cheese. This one will be much saucier. Different people like their Mac and Cheese differently. I like mine to have a bit of a sharper taste than others might like (enter the sharp cheddar and sour cream). The technique I describe below has some good 'general rules' though, regardless of the flavor you like. For example, to avoid separation, use onion powder instead of fresh onion. So make the sauce combine better, reserve some grated cheese out of the initial mix-in and add it afterwards. Cook your butter and flour mixture (called a 'roux') for an extra minute to help cook out the flour flavor. Oh, and this time I listed the actual measurement of pasta - in the 'Quarantine' recipe I suggested half a bag... but failed to mention what size of bag I was starting with! So, perhaps third time's the charm for getting this recipe posted properly?

A Perfect Pot of Cheesy Mac and Cheese:
400 g of elbow pasta, cooked and drained
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
6 tbsp flour
3 c. 2% milk
1/3 c. sour cream
5 c. shredded sharp cheddar (sub in some other sharp cheeses if you want!)
2 heaping tbsp. Cheez Whiz

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder and flour. The mixture will clump together. Allow it to cook for another minute. Whisk in milk. Cook until sauce thickens, whisking regularly. Do NOT boil - you'll be able to taste the difference if you do! Whisk in most of the shredded cheese (about 3/4 of it) and all of the sour cream and Cheez Whiz. For extra flavor, try adding in 3 tbsp of Steeped's Smoky Apple Bacon Seasoning at this step! Pour sauce over cooked pasta and stir until well combined. Fold in remaining cheese (do this while the sauce is still hot so that the cheese mixes well - otherwise you may get clumps). Pour pasta into a 9x9 square baking pan.
1 c. panko crumbs
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp oregano

Stir together panko, chili powder and oregano. Stir in melted butter. Sprinkle evenly across top of pasta.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned

*Note: the picture I posted is of the drier recipe from "Quarantine" which used about 250 g of pasta and 1/3 of the sauce. If you prefer less-cheesy recipes, try that one!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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