Baked Mac N Cheese with a Roux Sauce

People who love to cook usually have something they are well-known for; a dish they are so proud of that they make it for holidays and for their in-laws. This is MY recipe that I make during Thanksgiving, Christmas and special parties. Today we had an early Thanksgiving and my Mom asked me to make this dish. It always feels awesome when someone requests you to make something, because that means you make it really, really good.  The original recipe comes from http://www.chatandchew.info/2009/06/01/mac-and-cheese/, but I have changed it over many trails. Here is the my official version. This mac n cheese takes a lot of whisking, but it is so worth the arm cramps.  Hope you enjoy it; it will be a definite hit at any party!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of your choice of Pasta
  • 2 sticks of Butter, divided
  • 1/2 large Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Flour
  • 5 cups of Milk
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme or 1 fresh Thyme Sprig
  • 4-5 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Breadcrumb

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Boil pasta according to its directions.

Step 3: In a large saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat.

Step 4: Add chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Stir in flour for about a minute (this blond sauce is called a roux).

Step 6: While whisking continuously, add small amounts of milk at a time.

Step 7: Add bay leaf and thyme.

Step 8: Bring to a simmer and whisk for 15 minutes.

*Extremely important. Do not stop whisking during this time period. If you stop, the milk will burn and ruin the sauce).

Step 9: Remove the bay leaf (and the thyme sprig if you used it).

Step 10: Remove the pot from heat. Add cheese.

Step 11: Add salt, pepper, and mustard.

Step 12: Add the cheese sauce to the pasta.

Step 13: Add mac to a baking tray that has been sprayed with butter.

Step 14: In a small pot, melt remaining butter.

Step 15: Add breadcrumb and mix thoroughly.

Step 16: Spread breadcrumb over the pasta.

Step 17: Bake for 35-45 minutes.

Step 18: Let cool! Eat and Enjoy 🙂

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