Monday, 2 February 2009

Baked Macaroni And Cheese

This will serve 6 to 8 people and is a full meal served with salad or a green vegetable. One can ring the changes by putting tomatoes under the bread crumbs or even on top - then dusting them with curry powder 1/2 pound elbow or other macaroni or pasta 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon powdered mustard 3 cups milk 1/2 cup finely-diced onion 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon paprika 12 ounces sharp cheddar -- shredded 1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste === TOPPING === 3 tablespoons butter 1 cup dry bread crumbs Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

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