My Ultimate Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing quite says comfort food like macaroni and cheese. The pasta wrapped up in a cheesy coating, slathered in butter and topped with breadcrumbs. Yeah, you're speaking to my soul now. Who cares if you're on a diet? This mac and cheese is slap your mama good and it's worth the cheat meal. I'm no southerner, but I've done my research. I've combined all my favorite recipes and elements to make an ultimate baked macaroni and cheese. This is stick to your ribs good and it's worth the effort of making it the right way.

This mac and cheese is so good and part of the reason why is we're not just boiling the noodles in some water. We're boiling it in some flavorful chicken stock. I made my own and I highly recommend homemade vs store-bought. However, if you're in a pinch, use some store-bought chicken stock. If you can get your hands on it, add a tablespoon of Vegeta seasoning into the chicken stock. The flavor is unbelievable with the Vegeta. Please be sure to watch the salt your adding. Vegeta has some salt and store-bought stock has salt. So make sure to taste throughout the process. Boil the elbow macaroni for eight minutes in the chicken stock. Drain the macaroni, but reserve about a tablespoon of the stock. Pour the noodles into a large bowl, along with the reserved stock.

Add in the butter a few pads at a time and mix. Add the paprika, salt, pepper, ground mustard seeds, garlic powder, hot sauce and mix until combined. Add in the sour cream and cream cheese all at once and mix until combined. Lastly, add in three cups of cheese, a cup at a time. Mix between each cup. Make sure you don't overmix.

Once the mixture is all combined, make sure you taste it. It's vital! Make sure you like how much seasoning is in there and add more if you feel it's necessary.

Let's talk about cheese for a second. We're taking caring of the macaroni really well. We're flavoring it with some awesome flavor and they've been cooked al dente. The second major component is the cheese. This is where a lot of people go wrong. We want to ensure that there is no grainy cheese in our mac and cheese. That's the worst. So we're taking all the precautions to prevent that. First, you should be using blocks of cheese. It's better to buy blocks and grate the cheese yourself. I know the shredded cheese is less work, but these companies add a bunch of additives to the shredded cheese that is not good for mac and cheese. Secondly, you want to choose cheeses that are not only good in flavor, but great in melting ability. I'm sticking traditional sharp cheddar and Colby jack, but you can add provolone, mozzarella or any good melting cheese that isn't too overpowering. Third, we're adding cornstarch to our cheese. That the secret ingredient to making sure our cheese doesn't clump together. Lastly, we'll be adding the cheese a bit at a time, off the heat. These are key reasons why you won't get a grainy mac and cheese with this recipe.

Anyway, at this point you should grate all your cheeses, combine them and toss them with the cornstarch and set aside.

Combine the eggs with the heavy cream and milk in a large measuring cup and whisk until combined. Set aside.

Butter your casserole dish really well. Preheat your oven at this point. Bosch have specific symbols on their ovens.

Pour ⅓ of your macaroni mixture into the prepared pan and spread the mac as best as you can. Add a few pads of butter (optional). Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the top. Pour ⅓ cup of the egg/milk mixture evenly over the top. Repeat the layers two more times. So, there should be three total additions of the cheese, milk mixture and macaroni mixture throughout the whole dish. On the last layer, season with some more salt, pepper and paprika over the top, if needed. Top the last layer with panko breadcrumbs evenly. Drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 275°F for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, uncover the mac and cheese and turn the heat up to 400°F and cook for 10 more minutes. Broil for last couple of minutes. Make sure you watch it when you're boiling the top. The panko and cheese can burn really quickly if you're not careful. This is totally optional and obviously you want to make sure you didn't add too much salt, but I like grating some Parmesan over the top when it comes out of the oven.

This is another key point. This was by far the hardest part for me. However, you have to let this thing cool down for a bit. Not only because it's piping hot out of the oven, but because the "custard" we poured into the mac and cheese sets up better as it sits. Let the dish cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

See how I do it:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbzt8nZAseM[/embedyt]

My Ultimate Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing quite says comfort food like macaroni and cheese. The pasta wrapped up in a... Entrees My Ultimate Baked Macaroni and Cheese European Print This
Serves: 8 Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.5/5
( 4 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • ½ tablespoon Vegeta seasoning (optional)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • a few dashes of Frank's Red Hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 20 oz grated cheese (blocks of sharp cheddar and colby jack or your choice of a mix)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • drizzle olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese to grate on top

Instructions

Add a half tablespoon of Vegeta seasoning to the chicken stock. Bring the chicken stock up to heat and boil the noodles in the stock for about eight minutes.

Drain the noodles, reserving about a tablespoon of the stock. Pour the reserved stock and macaroni into a large bowl and set aside.

Add in the butter a few pads at a time and mix. Add the paprika, salt, black pepper, ground mustard seeds, garlic powder, hot sauce and mix until combined. Add in the sour cream and cream cheese all at once and mix until just combined. Lastly, add in three cups of cheese, a cup at a time. Mix between each cup. Make sure you don't overmix.

Once the mixture is all combined, make sure you taste it macaroni mixture. It's vital! Make sure you like how much seasoning is in there and add more if you feel it's necessary.

Grate the cheese and toss in a bowl with the cornstarch until combined. Set aside.

Combine the eggs with the heavy cream and milk in a large measuring cup and whisk until combined. Set aside.

Butter your casserole dish really well. Preheat your oven at this point.

Pour ⅓ of your macaroni mixture into the prepared pan and spread the mac as best as you can. Add a few pads of butter. Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the top. Pour ⅓ cup of the egg/milk mixture evenly over the top. Repeat the layers two more times. So, there should be three total additions of the cheese, milk mixture and macaroni mixture throughout the whole dish. On the last layer, season with some more salt, pepper and paprika over the top, if needed. Top the last layer with panko breadcrumbs evenly. Drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 275°F for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, uncover the mac and cheese and turn the heat up to 400°F and cook for 10 more minutes. Broil for last couple of minutes. Make sure you watch it when you're boiling the top. The panko and cheese can burn really quickly if you're not careful. This is optional but out of the oven, I like grating some Parmesan cheese over the top.

Let the dish cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Notes

You can sub cheddar and Colby jack for any good melting cheeses. Make sure you grate whatever cheese you're using, they're at room temp and you add them slowly. Also, don't add to a piping hot mixture or the cheese will separate. Let the dish cool! Store in a container covered in the fridge for a week. You can sub Frank's for your favorite hot sauce. If you can't get Vegeta, you can leave it out. If you can get your hands on it...use it!

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