Friday, March 1, 2024
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THE BEST HOMEMADE BAKED MAC AND CHEESE

The BEST homemade macaron and cheese of your life. Incredibly cheesy, ultra-creamy and topped with a crunchy Panko-Parmesan, this macaroni and cheese recipe is definitely a good idea. I used three different cheeses and a homemade cheese sauce to top off this macaroni and cheese recipe.

Ingredients

16 ounces of cooked elbow macaroni (or other tubular pasta)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups of whole milk
1 cup heavy whipped cream
4 cups grated hot cheddar cheese
2 cups grated gruyere cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large 3- or 4-quart baking dish and set aside. Combine the grated cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.
Cook pasta one minute before it is al dente according to package directions. Remove from heat, drain and place in a large bowl.
Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and toss to coat. Let it cool while you prepare the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a deep saucepan, a Dutch oven or a stockpot.
Beat the flour over medium heat and continue beating for one minute until it is bubbling and golden.
Gradually add the milk and cream until smooth and even. Continue beating until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking and beating for another 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.
Add 2 cups of grated cheese and beat until smooth. Add another 2 cups of grated cheese and continue to beat until creamy and smooth. The sauce should be nice and thick.
Add the cooled pasta until it combines and the pasta is completely covered with the cheese sauce.
Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Cover with the remaining 2 cups of grated cheese and then the remaining macaroni and cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle on top and bake until frothy and golden, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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