What could possibly be better than gooey, rich, baked mac and cheese? How about mac and cheese in your own special dish? Food just tastes better when it is served in one of our stoneware mini-bakers!
This extra cheesy, undeniably yummy, macaroni and cheese recipe is a perfect late winter meal! I make this recipe often at my house and it is always a big hit. Calories? Well, I didn’t call it low-fat mac and cheese. I don’t eat it every night, but darn it’s good! Leftovers keep well inside the mini bakers. Just place paper or plastic wrap over the baker and then put the lid on top of that. Feel free to make this recipe your own by adding ham, lobster, broccoli, or anything else you love in your mac.
1 lb. elbow macaroni
¾ lb. sharp cheddar grated
½ gruyere grated
½ cup fontina, grated
¼ cup asiago, grated
¼ cup gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbled
4 ounces of cream cheese cubed
½ stick butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp onion powder
A couple dashes of hot sauce
¼ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Begin boiling water for pasta. Make sure you salt your water (it should taste like the sea). Butter each mini baker on the bottom and sides.
Melt butter in sauce pan on medium heat. Be sure not to burn the butter! Once melted, whisk in the flour and continue to cook until it bubbles slightly and lumps are gone. Continue to stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add milk slowly and whisk together. Add spices, hot sauce (I use Tobasco), salt, and pepper to mixture and remove from heat.
Cook pasta to al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). Drain well and set aside, but don’t let cool.
In a large bowl combine milk/butter mixture, grated and crumbled cheese, and hot pasta. Combine well. (At this time you could add additional meat or vegetables of your choice.)
Fill mini bakers leaving 1 ¼” space from the top. Place lids on top, set bakers on cookie sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and add bread crumbs. Return to oven without the lid so the crumbs can crisp up. When the topping is golden brown, remove from oven. You can keep these warm up to 30 minutes by placing the lids back on!