Baked Mac and Cheese

I added cayenne pepper to the panko breadcrumb topping. It was so good and it also gives it a nice colour. You can use paprika if you want it mild. I wish you a pleasant day. Ours is grey and uneventful.

Baked Mac and Cheese

Preparation Time: 30 minutes; Baking time: 20 minutes; Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 450g (1 Ib) elbow macaroni
  • 60g (4 tbsps, 2oz, ½ stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or paprika if you want it mild)
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 225g (8oz) good melting cheese (I used provolone and mozzarella)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping

  • 100g (3.5 oz) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) butter, melted 
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or paprika if you want it mild)
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) ten minutes before using. Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions, in plenty of salted water, until almost al dente. Drain lightly and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the bouillon cube, cayenne pepper and mustard and cook for 1 minute stirring until the cube is crumbled and mixed with the butter.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for one minute, stirring from time to time (do not burn it).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add 1 cup milk whisking constantly until free of lumps. Return to the heat, add the rest of the milk and bring to the boil stirring. Simmer under low heat for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the roux is thick and smooth (do not burn it).
  5. Remove from the heat and add the cheese in three batches. Stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Place the drained macaroni in a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23cm) casserole or a 9 x 11 x 3 (23 x 28 x 7.5cm) deep dish, and pour the sauce over. Mix well and level the top. Sprinkle the 100g mozzarella cheese.
  7. Melt the butter in the microwave, stir in the cayenne pepper and then mix in the panko breadcrumbs. Spread mixture over the mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top.

Points to Note

  1. Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the macaroni at 400ºF (200ºC) for 16 minutes.

myfavouritepastime.com 

Step By Step Photos 

Make the roux as per instructions and stir in the cheese

Place the drained macaroni in a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23cm) casserole or a 9 x 11 x 3 (23 x 28 x 7.5cm) deep dish, and pour the sauce over and toss to combine. Sprinkle the 100g (3.5oz) mozzarella cheese.

Spread the panko mixture over the mozzarella cheese and bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top.

myfavouritepastime.com

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

4 thoughts

  1. How are Panko breadcrumbs different from regular breadcrumbs? I see them in the store, but the price scares me away. We usually have bits of our sourdough French bread leftover after a few days, and I’ve always wondered if there was something special I could do with them to make Panko crumbs.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. Hey Judie!
      Sorry I didn’t respond, earlier. Panko breadcrumbs are flaky, airy and light. They do not absorb oil like normal breadcrumbs and so they result in a crunchy topping or coating, after frying or baking. I use them because they are not dense like normal bread crumbs. They are easy to use and give better results.
      Virtual Hugs
      Liz

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