Chase and Sophia’s Baked Mac n’ Cheese

 

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My son and his girlfriend are an adorable couple. She has quickly become a part of our family and I love her like she is one of my own. The positive effects she has had on my son are innumerable and it has been a delight to see the conscientious and considerate young man he has become while in a couple. One of the positive effects has been their love of cooking. My daughter and I came home tired and hungry from a day of traveling home from Canada a few weeks back and we opened the fridge and found this delicious baked mac n’ cheese inside; comfort food was just what we needed. They found this recipe on the website http://www.momontimeout.com and made a couple alterations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded (they used cheddar in place of Gruyere)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 4 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large 3-4 quart baking dish. Combine shredded cheese in a large bowl and set aside.

Cook the pasta 1 minute to al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle pasta with olive oil. Set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a deep saucepan, dutch oven or stock pot. Whisk in flour and continue  whisking for 1 minute until bubbly and golden. Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream until smooth. Whisk until bubbles form on the surface and then an additional 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth and thick. Add 2 more cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth and thick.

Stir in cooled pasta and fully coat with cheese sauce. Pour half of the pasta into baking dish, top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then add the remaining pasta on top.

In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle this mixture over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.