Dreamy, creamy mac n cheese

Eat Canberra

Mac n cheese is one hell of a comfort food and definitely not something you want to be eating every day. But every so often, when you’re nursing a hangover or feeling like a big bowl of naughtiness, mac n cheese is going to be the thing to fulfil your wants and desires…. 

It doesn’t take to long to whip up a big tray of mac and cheese and you can reheat it the next day too. Here’s a recipe that you will get at least 8 serves out of.

Dreamy, creamy mac n cheese

For the mac and sauce you need:

500g of elbow macaroni pasta

4 cups of full cream milk

3/4 cup of cream

6 tablespoons of plain flour

2 tablespoons of American mustard

1/2 cup grated parmesan

6 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup butter

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the topping:

1-2 cups panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

What now?

Preheat oven to 200 celcius and butter a big baking dish (at least 20x30cm). Put a large pot of salted water on the stove top to boil. Once it’s boiling add the macaroni and cook until just al dente. Once it’s cooked, drain and set aside.

While the macaroni is cooking add butter and oil for the topping in a small saucepan until melted and starts to foam. Add the panko crumbs and garlic powder and stir until the crumbs start to brown. Then add the chopped parsley. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the parmesan and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Eat Canberra
I made 1/2 normal mac n cheese and had with jalapeños (see tip at the end of recipe) so I used two smaller baking dishes.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter then sprinkle over the flour, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 4 minutes. Gradually poor in the milk and cream and continue to whisk so there are no lumps and so the liquid forms a béchamel sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a low boil, continuing to whisk. Reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Add the salt, pepper and mustard. Stir to combine and then add the cheeses in 2-3 batches, stirring so that the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

Add the drained macaroni to the sauce and stir well to coat. Transfer the mixture to the buttered baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly to cover the top. Bake until golden (about 20-25 minutes). Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy a big bowl of this dreamy, creamy goodness or serve as a side!

TIP: Want to make jalapeño mac n cheese? Chop 2-4 tablespoons (depending on how much heat you want) of sliced jalapeños from a jar. Add them with a tablespoon of the liquid when you combine the macaroni and sauce. I make half normal and half jalapeño for Mr Eat Canberra who likes the heat!