Everyone loves a delicious pan of creamy macaroni and cheese, but few know how to create it. I'm going to share my "top-secret" recipe just in time for you to make it for Easter Dinner! Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a perfect side dish for ham, if you happen to have ham on the menu!
I have tried multiple recipes, and combined the best elements of each to create this well-tested, family-favorite recipe.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 pkg elbow macaroni (12 - 16 oz. package -- whole grain works too.)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp curry powder
6 cups milk, brought to room temperature
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Cook elbow macaroni in salted water according to package directions. Drain.
2. While waiting for water to boil, start making your sauce. Melt 1 stick butter in saucepan. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, dry mustard and curry powder. Cook on very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. (Note: You can also make this in the microwave in a large glass measuring cup or bowl, if you prefer. I have done it both ways.)
3. Add milk while stirring with wire whisk. Bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently with whisk. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce and shredded cheddar. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
4. Pour cheese sauce over noodles. Stir to combine. Transfer to greased casserole dish.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Makes: One 9" x 13" dish, about 12 servings
That's the basic recipe. Now, for my secret tips! :)
1. The dry mustard and curry powder lend that little special something to the flavor -- so don't omit!
2. Warming the milk first is not absolutely necessary, but it helps make a smoother sauce without lumps. (I learned this from Southern Living magazine.)
3. For a creamier texture, shred your own cheese. Two recommended brands are Cabot or Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp Cheddar. (Stock up when on sale to make those brands affordable.)
4. Don't be alarmed if this looks way too soupy when you put it in the oven -- the liquid will be absorbed during baking. The secret to creamy macaroni and cheese is plenty of sauce!!
OK -- there you have it! My "Top Secret" Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese! Let me know if your family loves it as much as mine does!!