Monday, August 29, 2011

Comfort Food: Smokey Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is  my favorite comfort food.    When I was in college I ate a lot of Macaroni and Cheese in a box.  I  then graduated to frozen mac and cheese.  Now a days, I like to make my own from scratch.  Nothing can beat it and it is easy to make.  This recipe uses a blend of smokey cheeses which make the sauce creamy and delicious.  The chipotle chili powder  compliments the sauce wonderfully.                                 

Smokey Mac And Cheese

12 ounces dry large elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
½  teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2-1/2 cups milk
1-teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded smoked cheese – Trader Joe’s Shredded Cheese Blend Smoked*
1 cup grated Velveeta cheese

2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup shredded smoked cheese – Trader Joe’s Shredded Cheese Blend Smoked*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cook Macaroni according to package directions.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water.  Set aside.
2.  In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add flour, onion powder, and chipotle chili powder to melted butter and whisk together until combined.  Make sure it is free of any lumps.  Cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently.
3.  Stir milk into the butter and flour mixture.  Add salt, pepper and stir.   Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.  Be sure to stir.
4.  Remove from heat.  
5. Stir in the Smokey cheese(s) a little at a time making sure all the cheese has melted before adding more.  Repeat with the Velveeta cheese.
6.  Fold the macaroni into the cheese mixture until well coated.
7.  Grease a 1-½ quart round baking dish.
8. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the baking dish.
9.  In a small bowl combine the melted butter and the breadcrumbs.  Mix until the breadcrumbs are well coated.
10.  Sprinkle the cheese over the macaroni and top with the breadcrumbs.
11.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
12.  Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before serving.

*If you cannot find Trader Joe’s Shredded Cheese Blend Smoked use half shredded smoked cheddar cheese and half shredded smoked mozzarella or shredded smoked Gouda cheese. 

Yield:  Six servings
Tasty Mac and Cheese

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