Food & Drink Magazine

Baked Mac & Cheese

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
Baked Mac & Cheese 
I confess I have a penchant for Macaroni and Cheese.  I have never met a dish of macaroni and cheese that I did not fall in love with, and I am always keen to try new versions.  This version today was adapted from a recipe I got in a newsletter which I regularly receive from Yankee Magazine, which comes from their archives dated to way back when.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew that it was something I wanted to make and try.  It had all the hallmarks of becoming a favourite  for us me. Mustn't forget my husband who is not really fond of pasta at all  . . .  although  once in a while I do get him to tolerate it.  It is a real sacrifice for him.
Baked Mac & Cheese  
One thing which intrigued me about this recipe was that there was no sauce making involved.  Just layering.  It was very similar to my recipe for Old Fashioned Escalloped Macaroni and Cheese, with the exception being that there is no cream involved  . . .
Baked Mac & Cheese 
Instead it relies on the use of soft bread crumbs to thicken up the cheese, milk, etc.  These bread crumbs get layered in a buttered dish along with the cooked macaroni and grated cheese. Easy peasy.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
A few things to take under consideration . . .  use a really coarse bread crumb, from a heavy textured bread.  Freshly made, but a bread that won't fall to bits when you pour the milk over top. You want the bread to absorb the milk and melt into the cheese . . .  along with the butter, this is what creates the sauce.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
You also want to use a really well flavoured cheese for this.  Trust me.  The cheese is the star of this dish, and you want it to shine brightly! Use extra strong (extra sharp) cheese.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
Don't be tempted to stint on the butter either.  It asks for 4 to 6 TBS and they mean 4 to 6 TBS.  Its mac and cheese, in for a penny in for a pound!
Baked Mac & Cheese 
Also use full fat milk.  This recipe hails from a time and day where people didn't bother with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.  They used milk, and it was full fat.  Lots of the time it was farm milk, straight from the cow.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
So . . .  no, it's not un-calorific to say the least, but it is tasty, and it is worth a once in a blue moon splurge.  With a bit of salad on the side, you could almost trick yourself into feeling virtuous because there is no cream sauce, lol.  Well, that's the way my mind works anyways . . . or eat it standing up, because as anyone knows, calories consumed standing up, don't count. 😉
Baked Mac & Cheese 
*Baked Mac & Cheese *Serves 4 to  6Printable Recipe  

This is simple, old fashioned and quite, quite delicious. 
400g dry macaroni (3 1/2 cups, dry)4 to 6 TBS butter120g coarse fresh breadcrumbs (2 cups)362g grated strong cheddar cheese (3 cups)salt and pepper to taste240ml milk
Baked Mac & Cheese 
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 2 litre/2quart baking dish really well.  Set aside. 
Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water according to the package directions.  Rinse well with cold water and drain again.
Put a layer of bread crumbs in the bottom of the buttered casserole dish. Cover with a layer of macaroni. Season lightly with salt and pepper, remembering that cheese can be salty. Sprinkle on a layer of cheese and dot with butter.  Repeat layers until all of the ingredients have been using ending with a layer of cheese, and then bread crumbs.   Pour the milk over top and then dot with butter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Baked Mac & Cheese 
Homestyle comfort food.  It is worth the splurge.  Why not try it for yourself and see how it compares ???  Bon Appetit!
Baked Mac & Cheese

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