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Baked Mac and Cheese II

This is different from any of the previous recipes by me or anyone, hence the title…
This one offers lots of flavor but can be easily altered by adding some diced ham, broccoli, or asparagus pieces just before baking. It’s delicious and very inexpensive to feed the entire family.

12-oz pkg elbow macaroni
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole or 2-percent fat milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8-oz shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, or 1/2 cup dried

baked-mac-and-cheese-ii

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain in a colander.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 min, or until softened. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 min.

Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 6 min. Stir in the mustard and cayenne pepper.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to coat. Scrape the mixture into a 9×13-in baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake the casserole until the top is golden brown, about 30 min. Serve hot. Serves 8

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / urbanlight

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