Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grown-up mac 'n' cheese

The other day my husband asked for some plain old mac 'n' cheese. This was not a usual request and I couldn't remember when the last time was that I had made it. I started going thru all my recipes and most of what I had contained spinach or kale or some other vegetables. I finally had the basic idea of what I wanted to do and proceeded to cover the countertop with ingredients , bowls and baking dish. In the midst of all this, he walked in the kitchen and exclaimed "what are you doing?" Making mac "n" cheese, I replied. His response was..."oh, I thought you would just mix up a box of Kraft." There hadn't been a box of Kraft in this house since we were first married and besides, this was going to be grown-up mac 'n' cheese. Nothing against Kraft, but this turned out to be comfort food at its finest.

8x8 pyrex baking dish sprayed with Pam
8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 c. milk (I use Carnation instant)
3 tablespoons butter, divided (whatever spread you use)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 c. shredded fiesta blend cheese
3/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 425. Cook elbows according to shortest time on box and drain. Melt 1 1/2 T. of butter in same pot. Stir in elbows. In a bowl, beat the egg and add milk, hot sauce, mustard and cayenne. Stir together and then add to elbows. Stir in cheese. Cook, while stirring until cheese melts. Pour into baking pan. Melt 1 1/2 T. of butter in a small bowl in microwave for about 30 sec. Stir in the breadcrumbs. Spread over top of elbow mixture. Bake for about 15 min. or until top is golden brown. You can double the recipe for a 9x13 baking dish.