Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Crunchy Mac & Cheese

You will need:
1 pound of tubular pasta
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powered (dry) mustard
3 cups milk
1 finely chopped yellow onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
1 pound sharp shedded cheddar
1 cup mascarpone
3 dashes of tabasco (or to taste)

For the topping:
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups panko

Step 1:
Boil the pasta, cooking according to the directions on the box.  Cook al dente because it will cook more when you bake it.

Step 2:
While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot.  Saute the onion until soft.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, the flour and mustard.  Whisk together and cook down for 3 minutes.

Step 3:
Stir in the milk, bay leaf and paprika.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove the bay leaf.  Temper in the egg.  (Do this by adding a small amount of the hot liquid into a bowl with a stirred egg.  Then add the egg to the milk mixture.  If you do not temper the egg it will scramble.)  Then stir in 3/4 of the cheddar cheese, the mascarpone and the tabasco.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4:
Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce.  Mix together and then pour into a greased 2 quart casserole.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Then melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and mix in the panko.  Then spread the buttered panko over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Step 5:
Bake for 30-40 minutes.

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