Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This dish relies on the flavor of of the cheese--get the sharpest cheddar you can find. In New England this means extra-sharp Vermont cheddar. Mustard can give the dish a litlle more bite if desired. You can optionally add lightly steamed brocolli florets or cubed ham for a full meal in a dish.
- 1/8 c flour
- 1/8 c butter
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 8 oz (1 c) cheddar cheese, grated or coarsely chopped
- 1 c elbow noodles
- buttered bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- cooked brocolli florets
- cubed ham
Cook noodles until al dente, drain.
To prepare the bechamel sauce, melt the butter on the stove. Stir in the flour and allow to cook. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly as the mixture thickens. Add cheese (and mustard if using), stirring as necessary to melt.
To prepare buttered bread crumbs, melt ~1Tbsp butter in a pan. Stir in 2 or 3 slices worth of bread crumbs and remove from heat. The exact amounts depend upon the size of your baking dish.
Add noodles to a 6 inch square baking dish. Mix in brocolli or ham if desired. Pour sauce over noodles, and lightly jog dish to settle sauce into noodles. Spread crumbs evenly over top.
Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, until bread crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbling.