Baked Mac and Cheese

The Perfect Mac and Cheese

My son Liam has been cutting teeth like no other.  Since he has had some teeth pop through, he has been loving real food.   His favorite is Mac and Cheese, so I decided to go ahead and make some. I wanted to reward him for all of the hard work he has been doing.   The best way to do this was to go with one of my stand-by cookbook recipes.  The Fannie Farmer cookbook has a great recipe for Mac and Cheese.  This cookbook is a great classic American cookbook.  It uses basic ingredients and makes simple and delicious food.  I whipped up some classic mac and cheese and Liam ate it up.  He may not be able to speak yet, but his plate was cleared so I knew he loved it.

Baked Mac and Cheese

The first step is to set up your mise-en-place.  Shred your cheese, measure out the ingredients and get them ready to go in small bowls. Make sure to buy a block and shred it yourself as the pre-shredded stuff has additives that keep it from clumping.  I also like to add the salt and pepper to the flour and set near the stove.  Measure out the butter, cream and milk and set near the stove in separate bowls.  Once you get this process going you will want to keep stirring so having the ingredients ready is a must.  I like to use some small bowls to do this.  I know that you can get them pampered chef or I like these ones from Libbey.  At this time also start to boil water for the macaroni.  Also butter a medium sized baking dish.  I use a 15oz oval corningware baking dish.

Shred the Cheese

Once you have your mise-en-place ready it is time to start.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the water starts boiling, add the macaroni to the water and cook according to the package instructions.  Remember, you only need 8oz of macaroni.  Most macaroni is sold in 16oz boxes.

In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Then add the flour mixture to the butter.  Whisk until combined.  Then continue to cook for 2 minutes, continually whisking.

Add the flour to the butter

Then pour in the milk and cream.  Continue to whisk.  Bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Allow to thicken

Whisk in the cheese and continue to cook on low for 5 minutes.  Make sure to continue to stir.

Add the cheese

Add the cooked and drained macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir.

Stir in the Macaroni

Pour the mixture into the buttered medium sized baking dish.

Pour into a baking dish

Melt two tablespoons of butter in the microwave and pour over the bread crumbs.  Mix thoroughly and then pour the breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Buttered bread crumbs

Place the macaroni and cheese in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

The Perfect Mac and Cheese

Remove and serve.

The Best Mac and Cheese

The best Oven Baked Mac and Cheese I have ever had.  Basics are the way to go.

Baked Mac and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
The ultimate mac and cheese
Ingredients
Mac and Cheese
  • 8oz macaroni (1/2 of a 1pound box)
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups good quality shredded cheddar cheese
Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs Butter
Instructions
  1. The first step is to set up your mise-en-place. Shred your cheese, measure out the ingredients and get them ready to go in small bowls. Add the salt and pepper to the flour and set near the stove. Measure out the butter, cream and milk and set near the stove in separate bowls. Once you get this process going you will want to keep stirring so having the ingredients ready is a must. I like to use some small bowls to do this. I know that you can get them pampered chef or I like these ones from Libbey. At this time also start to boil water for the macaroni. Also butter a medium sized baking dish. I use a 15oz oval corningware baking dish.
  2. Once you have your mise-en-place ready it is time to start. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water starts boiling, add the macaroni to the water and cook according to the package instructions. Remember, you only need 8oz of macaroni. Most macaroni is sold in 16oz boxes.
  3. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the flour mixture to the butter. Whisk until combined. Then continue to cook for 2 minutes, continually whisking.
  4. Then pour in the milk and cream. Continue to whisk. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the cheese and continue to cook on low for 5 minutes. Make sure to continue to stir.
  6. Add the cooked and drained macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir.
  7. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish.
  8. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the microwave and pour over the bread crumbs. Mix thoroughly and then pour the breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  9. Place the macaroni and cheese in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  10. Remove and serve.
Notes
Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook
 

About Author

Rex

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

7 Comments

  1. Man this looks good, Rex! I'll have to give it a shot, I always add Velveeta to my mac and cheese. I know that is heresy but that is the one time I use the stuff 🙂

  2. Can I still make it if I don't have cream? I only have milk.. Should I use the same amount total just make it all milk?

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