The inspiration of this recipe was found by my dear Hubby and I am so glad he did. I have only made a couple of homemade baked macaroni and cheeses so I was a bit nervous about getting it just right. This turned out amazing, this sauce before adding the cheese will be my base for all cheese type sauces. It came out ooey and gooey and didn’t set up so hard that you couldn’t enjoy it. Then after baking it is the gooey and stringy cheese sauce you remember from your childhood and the crunch of the panko on top, is perfection.
These are the steps of making the sauce. First, you will need to make a rue. After adding the milk and cream it can be hard to tell when the right time to add the cheese is. If you wait too long you scorch the milk and need to start over, don’t wait long enough then your sauce thickness isn’t right. Below I made a short little video for you to see how the consistency is before adding the cheese and the silkiness after the cheese has melted.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This easy-to-make Baked Macaroni and Cheese can transport you back to your childhood. With a creamy sauce made with cheddar makes for the perfect gooey center, add a layer of panko for just the perfect crunch and you can't go wrong.
Cook and drain Macaroni and sit aside. Do this before you start the sauce so that you are not trying to drain the pasta when you need to stir the sauce.
In a large saucepan melt butter. Add in the flour mixed with a bit of salt and pepper for flavor. Use a whisk and stir until blended. You don’t want any lumps.
Combine milk and cream and pour in a little at a time and make sure to stir constantly and get it well combined then add more.
Bring to a boiling point and stir for 2 minutes do not stop stirring. It will start to thicken.
Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes stirring constantly. I still had my heat a little higher and it did not take the full 10 minutes for it to get thick enough to add cheese.
Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Take off heat. Add macaroni and stir until well coated.
Pour into a greased baking dish. Cover with panko, if you need more then ½ cups that’s fine. I sprayed my panko with a bit of oil to help it brown up when cooking.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. At time remove cover and finish baking for about 5 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.
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