Thursday, May 13, 2010's # 1 requested dish . . . .

As I was flipping through my People magazine I came across this recipe. It is's Number 1 requested recipe and after trying it, I am not at all surprised! It was beyond good. The combination of ingredients is perfect and the panko bread crumb topping is wonderful. The original recipe calls for 1/2 pound macaroni but when I added that much it was too saucy for me so I added 1/2 pound more. If you like it more saucy, stick to the original 1/2 pound.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Alton Brown

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
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.

Temper in the egg (add a little of the hot mixture to it before mixing it in, if you add the egg cold right into it, it will scramble so very slowly add enough hot mixture to bring the temperature up).
Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart 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.