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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baked mac and cheese with homemade croutons.

Things you need:
                   Mac and cheese...

                   -1lb of elbow macaroni
                   - 8oz block of pepper jack cheese
                   -8oz bag of Kraft shredded (with a touch of philadelphia creaminess) 4 cheese mexican blend
                   -8oz bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
                   -8 Tbs of butter
                   -6 Tbs all purpose flour
                   -3 cups of milk
                   -1 cup of heavy cream
                   -1 Tbs ground pepper

                - 3 cups of cubed bread, cut into 1 inch cubes.
                -2 Tbs of olive oil
                -2 Tbs of butter
                -salt and pepper
                -garlic powder

How to:


Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy skillet on medium heat.
When the butter is melted, add the cubed bread.
Stir and turn the bread frequently until it is golden on all sides - about five minutes.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder (but don't burn your mouth on those hot croutons!)

Mac and Cheese:
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

-In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside

-In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally

-Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish. Top with croutons.  Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown

-For extra crispy topping, place under broiler after baking until bread crumbs turn golden brown. Recommended.

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