My mother makes the type of Macaroni and Cheese that I love… It’s one of those childhood comfort foods (along with Meat Pie and Hashbrown Casserole) that cannot get enough of. With the fear of ruining a bunch of childhood memories in my head, I decided to venture out and try another recipe…
This one from Alton Brown with just slight changes.
Steps to throwing together this masterpiece.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Mix in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.
Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Mix in egg.
Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, let sit for ten minutes before serving.
A very enjoyable dish, one that is the perfect comfort food… but it does not replace the childhood memories.
The paprika add a subtle flavor and panko breadcrumbs create a texture that I never would have associated with Mac and Cheese but really enjoy.
One last item with this dish – the longer the dish sits, the better it tastes. After having the Mac and Cheese hibernate in the fridge overnight I found even more pleasure in eating the leftovers the next day. It looks as the flavors permeate the dish and grow in intensity with time.