Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe

Easter is on its way and I am starting to plan out my menu. My son made a stove-top macaroni and cheese last year that was really delicious and loved by everyone, but it was a lot of constant stirring and work. I’ve done some research and have found the following recipe that has nothing but rave reviews. It is creamy and cheesy, but not oversaturated with sauce and it can be made earlier in the day and baked before dinner. It is noted that using all Medium or Mild Cheddar will make it more gooey and bland. Substituting with a fancier cheese can make it gritty. It is highly recommended that you follow the recipe as it is. I’m adding this to my menu because I think it’s a great side dish to accompany ham.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
(8 servings- makes a large casserole)

• 16 ounces macaroni (4 cups of dried macaroni)
• ⅓ cup butter
• ⅓ cup flour
• ½ tsp white pepper
• ½ tsp salt
• ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
• 3½ cups 2% milk
• 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded
(approximately 2 cups)
• 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
(approximately 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, cook for 8 – 9 minutes. Strain and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper over the melted butter, whisking until smooth. Stir in the milk ½ cup at a time, only adding the next half cup once the previous one has been incorporated entirely. Add all of the medium cheddar cheese and half of the extra sharp cheddar cheese, stir into the milk/flour sauce until melted. Stir in the macaroni. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining extra sharp cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered at 375 F for 30 minutes.

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