Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mac and Cheese Béchamel

I had seen this recipe quite a while back and finally ended up making it tonight when I realized I had all the ingredients. This macaroni and cheese flavor was good, but the texture was a bit grainy. Maybe I should have used better quality cheese? I used a mixture of cheddar blend cheeses, but you can really use whatever you like or have on hand. Please let me know if you have a basic recipe that you recommend. I would love to try another version.  Still, my favorite is the spicy mac and cheese that I made a few months ago. 
2 cups dried macaroni
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni. Drain. In a small bowl, beat the egg. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt. Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt as needed. Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen
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