Mmmm.... mac and cheese. Carbs and cheese? Seriously? Who invented this? You deserve a medal. I decided to try out the Pioneer Woman's versions since I usually trust her whenever calories are not a restriction and butter is a necessity. You can serve this without baking it for a creamy, succulent version, but I decide to bake it. I'm not sure which way I prefer. Baking it dries up the sauce some so you don't get the same creaminess but it does have the added bonus of a crunchy topping.
4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard
1 lb cheese blend of your choice, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme
Cook macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot melt butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk together. Cook for five minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let mixture burn. Add milk and mustard, whisk until smooth. Cook for five more minutes, until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Beat egg in a small bowl. Scoop 1/4 cup of the sauce out of the large pot and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to temper the egg. Whisk until smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly until smooth. Add in cheese and stir until melted. Add salt, seasoned salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt as needed. Do no under salt.
Add cooked macaroni to sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately for creamy mac and cheese or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 or until bubbly and golden on top.
Posted by Ree on