Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baked Mac n' Cheese

1 (2 lb.) box elbow macaroni
water (enough to be a little over an inch from the top of the macaroni)
1 tsp. salt (for seasoning the water)
1 small onion
1/2 small green pepper
1 small chili pepper ( I used a bird pepper)
5 springs thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
5 tbsp. butter
2  1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cans evaporated milk

The first thing to do is pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil.  While the water comes to a boil begin to finely dice the onions and green pepper.  You want to make sure that the dice is super small.  Season the the water in the pot with one tsp. of salt, three sprigs of thyme, the paprika, and half of the cut up onions and peppers. Next add the macaroni.  Allow the macaroni to cook on medium high heat until all of the water evaporates.  Make sure to stir everything around often to prevent the macaroni from sticking to the bottom.  Once the water has evaporated, turn the heat to low, add in the rest of the onions and peppers and stir well.  Next add in the butter and milk and combine well again. Remove the thyme leaves and from the remaining sprigs and add it to the pot along with a little paprika. If you want the dish to be a little more spicy add in some cayenne pepper to taste.

Add in the cheese in thirds, reserving some for the topping at the end and combine well.  Once the cheese has melted evenly, turn off the heat. Take out a baking dish and spray with cooking  spray or butter the dish to prevent sticking.  Ok, we're almost done!  Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk it well.  Add the egg to the macaroni and make sure to stir everything really really well.  The macaroni should be creamy, but not too thick or sticky because it will continue to cook in the oven.  If you see that the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk and stir well.   Transfer this mixture to your baking dish and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese begins to bubble and get a little toasty. Slice and serve hot.


Jenna said...

Oh my--I just had a disappointing mac and cheese experience the other night (I've been trying to find a great stovetop recipe, without success so far). It looks like this mac and cheese could erase all those painful memories in one bite! Plus, my husband much prefers baked over stovetop, so this is perfect. Thanks for sharing it! I can't wait to make it.

Carlos B. said...

Looking at the list of blogs on the univision website i thought you were from texas but i was surprised to see you are a Miami native! Good to know, been spreading the word...MIAMI IS BEHIND YOU!

Love your cooking, lots of traditional cuban dishes with a modern twist to it, bravo!

carlos b.

Carolyn said...

Thanks for sharing with Roxanne, Patyence, so she could share with us!!! (Of course you could have always just given it to me directly, and cut out the middle man ;)

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