And speaking of healthy, here's a healthy recipe for you. Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable, right? As my husband would rationalize, it has dairy and grain (from the whole grain pasta), so that makes is healthy. Aside from it's non-healthy attributes, this recipe does take it easier than some in the calorie department. Instead of cream, it uses milk (skim in my case). Instead of 2 pounds of cheese, it only uses slightly less than 1. The solution is to eat it in moderation. Make it when you're feeding a crowd though because the recipe easily yields 8-10 people, depending on their level of gluttony. Overall it's a good one, not the most indulgent but remember, I took part of the goodness out.
Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni & Cheese
adapted from Alton Brown, via Food Network
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- 3 cups milk (I used skim but I think a little fat in the milk would be beneficial)
- 1 tsp dried minced onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.