Thursday, January 7, 2010

Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese

Really, there's not much better than homemade macaroni and cheese, unless it's make ahead macaroni and cheese. It's definitely a feel good food. My mom made this a little while ago for a big family dinner. She had seen it on a food network show called Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. When I made this tonight, the boys wanted to know if it was Nana's macaroni and cheese because "Nana's macaroni and cheese is so good."

The Ingredients

3 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
1 cup cottage cheese

For the topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

At Ten O'Clock

Cook macaroni, drain but do not rinse.

Mix the two cheeses together in a large bowl and measure out the cottage cheese. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing well as you go. Cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the warm milk, bay leaves, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add 3 cups of cheese and all of the cottage cheese. Stir well. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Add macaroni noodles and mix well.

Pour 1/2 of macaroni mixture into a 9 x 13 or 2 qt baking dish. Cover with 1/2 of the remaining grated cheese. Add remaining macaroni mixture and cover with the remaining grated cheese.

In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the macaroni. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Before Serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.

Family Approval
Yummy! This recipe is delicious, and surprisingly didn't take that long to prepare. I thought the paprika and cottage cheese were really unique to mac and cheese and added a lot to the overall flavor. I love the crunchy topping and would probably double that next time I make it.


No comments:

Post a Comment