I am a firm believer that one can never go wrong with the concept of pasta and melted cheese. So when I saw Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese recipe pop up in my google reader, I knew it'd be a great match for the French Dip sandwiches I was making for dinner. I have what I consider to be a tried and true macaroni recipe, however it doesn't use an egg, and PW's does so I think it was an interesting mini experiment to try her version. I can safely say that her dish is RICH. Prior to baking, it's an absolutely creamy dish. Too creamy to eat at that stage. However after baking, once I plated the macaroni it seemed almost lumpy, and lost much of that creamy texture. It was still very rich, but I prefer a moderately creamy mac & cheese and so in my book, my go-to recipe wins.
Here's the Macaroni & Cheese recipe from Pioneer Woman's Website
- 4 cups dried macaroni
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 pound cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- *Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
- In a small bowl, beat egg.In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
- Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
- Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
- Add in cheese and stir to melt.
- Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
- Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.