Thursday, September 8, 2016

Kids Mac N' Cheese

You can never have too many macaroni and cheese recipes in your arsenal, so file this one under: For the Picky Eater.

The Pioneer Woman's recipe yields all the traditional, old school flavors using standard macaroni shells which won't let your kids in on your homemade little secret. I decreased the amount of dried mustard and omitted the extra cheese on top since my kids pick up on the slightest variation from the boxed variety and it was a big hit. It's pretty much a home run for the whole family.

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman's Mac N' Cheese
Servings: 6-8

4 cups dried macaroni
1 whole egg, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1 pound cheese, grated (I used sharp cheddar)
1 tsp salt, more to taste

Cook macaroni until very firm. (I cooked it 1-2 minutes before al dente).  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.

In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat.  Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don't let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth.  Cook for five minutes or until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together until smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salt.  Taste sauce and add more as needed.  DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.  Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish and top with extra cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly or golden on top.

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