Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Is this turning into a food blog?  No but it is a blog about a family that loves to eat and a mother that loves to cook.  To quote a rotund 3-year old, "I love food.  When I get finished eating, I'm ready to eat again."  You'd never guess it, seeing as how his gut extends out past his pants by a good 4 inches!  I think it's time to start talking about some of my other pastimes around the house.  Clearly I've been talking, doing, and breathing food way too much.  Luckily, he is into the healthy kick and prefaces each meal by asking if the items on his plate are healthy.  At least I've done something right. 

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


Preheat 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.


  1. you so make me giggle ... "remember, i took part of the goodness out!" mac and cheese is my weakness ... i would add extra goodness - LOL!

  2. I love Alton Brown's show, but oddly I've never made any of his recipes. I have used several of his "tips" though. Might have to search for something of his to make this weekend...