Who doesn’t love cheese? I actually have a drawer in my refrigerator that is specifically for cheeses. One of my favorite comfort foods is Macaroni and Cheese. I have eaten in so many styles, it’s hard to say which I like best. My Mother makes her macaroni and cheese the saucy way. You can eat it with a spoon and it’s so yummy. My sister makes hers in her slow cooker and it’s soft, gooey and sticky, also very yummy! I tend to do mine in the oven and make it a baked style. Well, that’s what I did this week and I thought I would share it with you. I make mine with 3 different cheeses and a little bit of red pepper flakes for a bit of a bite. So yummy!
Here’s how I make it.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
In a 3 quart sauce pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add lots of salt, about 2 Tablespoons. This is the only chance you’ll have to salt the pasta. Add the elbow macaroni and bring it back to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the macaroni from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 8 minutes
Drain the macaroni in a colander. Do not rinse the macaroni, I like to keep the starch to aid in the baking process. This will help thicken the milk mixture.
In a medium size bowl, crack the eggs and beat with a fork until it’s frothy.
Add milk to the eggs and beat with the fork to combine. Set aside.
Now you’re ready for the assembly part. It’s so easy. But first go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking oil on the bottom and sides of a 9 x 7 x 2.5 casserole dish or one that holds about 2.5 liters.
Put 1/2 of the elbow macaroni in the bottom.
Tear 2 slices of the American cheese and put on the macaroni. Save the other 3 slices for the top.
Then 1/2 of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Just a note here about shredded cheese. I have found that if I shred block cheese myself, it melts so much nicer than the already shredded cheese you can buy in the zip packs. Just my humble opinion. I agree that the pre-shredded is so much quicker and easier and when you’re crunched for time it’s the go to. But if you can take that extra few minutes to shred a fresh block, it’s worth it. Just saying.
Now, sprinkle on 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, some fresh cracked pepper and red pepper flakes. Oh Yeah, this is a fabulous twist to basic mac n cheese. Add just enough that you get a little bite but not too much that it sets you on fire.
Top all of that with the remaining elbow macaroni,
The 3 remaining slices of American cheese, tearing each one in half,
Sharp cheddar cheese,
And Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle the salt evenly over all of those layers of macaroni and cheeses and such.
Stir the egg and milk mixture to get it all mixed together again and pour over all of that cheesy deliciousness.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.
Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive in the morning!! I can eat my weight in this baked macaroni and cheese!
If you like cheese and noodles, check out my Chicken Noodly Dish! This is Southern Comfort food at it’s finest!
What’s your favorite macaroni and cheese style?
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