Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baked mac and cheese


Normally for baked mac and cheese, I use this recipe from Food Network. However, the other night, I was a bit short on ingredients. I had no regular sharp cheddar in the house. Instead, I had a block of Kerrygold's Dublin Cheddar.

Now, normally this isn't the kind of cheese I use for cooking. It's meant for eating plain, because it's really good. I can usually find it for cheaper at Aldi, and use it for appetizers. However, I want to tell you, it rocks in this mac and cheese! It's a bit sharper than the usual, but pairing it with the Monterey Jack I had on hand balanced the flavor.

I also used a type of pasta called veggie pasta, which apparently has a serving of vegetables in it. I don't know about that, but it worked well in the dish. And I couldn't help reverting to childhood for a moment, and adding sliced cooked hot dogs. Farmland's cheese dogs to be precise. Made the dish!

So, here you go -- nostalgia in a pan.

Baked mac and cheese

12 ozs. macaroni (veggie)
2 eggs
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled
1/4 t. cayenne
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1 1/2 cups shredded Dublin Cheddar
1 cup sliced hot dogs or grilled chicken
2 T. butter, melted
3/4 to 1 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 t. paprika

Heat oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 9-in. square pan.

Cook macaroni until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain. Beat eggs and add milk. Whisk in butter and cayenne. Shred cheese.

Layer half of the pasta in a buttered pan. Top with half of meat and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Top with remaining pasta, meat and cheese. Pour milk mixture over casserole, and top with remaining half cup of shredded cheese. Melt 2 T. of butter, and add bread crumbs and paprika. Top casserole with bread crumb mixture, and bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

I paired this with steamed broccoli and cartoons. Highly recommended!

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