Down here in the good old South we have what we like to call, large quantities of carbs coated in cheese and sprinkled with more cheese. Here we call it, Macaroni and Cheese not to be confused with noodles and cheese. While Kraft might call their Mac n’ Cheese the cheesiest, we call it a big lie. Here is what we call the misinterpretation of deliciousness & a cheap substitution.
Here’s the difference: Macaroni and cheese = baked & Noodles and cheese = stove top. My baked macaroni and cheese is pretty much my noodles and cheese with a little panko on top, just the way I love it! No egg, no runny behavior, just cheesy!
My recipe: 1 3/4 c uncooked elbows 1/4 c unsalted butter 1 1/2 TSP dry mustard powder 1 TSP sea salt 3 TBSP flour 1/2 TSP crushed pepper 2 1/2 c milk 2 c mixed cheeses
Topping: 1 TSP unsalted butter 2 TBSP Panko crumbs 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375° & start cooking elbows just as normal. Bring the noodles to a boil and drain at al dente. In a medium size saucepan melt the 1/4 c of butter add the salt, dry mustard, pepper and flour. Whisk the ingredients together and then add the milk in small amounts and continue whisking until completely blended. When brought to a slow bubble, remove from heat and add cheese. Blend and make sure the cheese is melted into the cream. Add the drained noodles, coat and pour into a casserole dish that has been greased. I added a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top, but not necessary.
Melt the TBSP of butter in the microwave. Add panko & parmesan. Sprinkle on top of the pasta. Bake 20 minutes or until the topping has browned. Remove from the oven and let set 10 minutes on the counter before serving.