Monday, May 20, 2013

mmmmm, mondays: southern mac-n-cheese

i am a born and raised california girl. i was transplanted to the south five years ago and, while i miss the great mexican food and in-and-out burgers that california has to offer, there are some things that are pretty amazing about the south. one of my favorite things about life here is that you can get macaroni and cheese as a side just about anywhere. it is pretty much considered a vegetable. i've tried a few recipes to replicate the goodness i can find everywhere and this is my personal favorite. if you are craving a piece of the south, make this up from yourself along with some sweet tea and you'll be ready to go. enjoy, y'all.



southern mac-and-cheese

2 pounds (2 boxes) of uncooked penne or macaroni pasta

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

6 cups milk

8 cups sharp cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

topping:

1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup panko bread crumbs


preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. cook the pasta al dente (about 2 minutes less than package instructions). drain pasta, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

while pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. add the flour to form a roux. add the milk and stir constantly until the milk begins to thicken (about 10-15 minutes). remove from the heat and add the cheese, salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. stir well until cheese is melted and sauce forms a thick, creamy mixture.



add the rinsed pasta to the sauce mixture and stir until well blended.



pour mixture into the prepared 9 x 13 pan (you may have a little left over). sprinkle with extra cheese, bread crumbs and chili powder. bake uncovered for 20 minutes. enjoy!