Macaroni and Cheese is truly one of those dishes that can be enjoyed year round. It’s perfect during the cold winter months and can be enjoyed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s also wonderful as part of Easter dinner. Now that the 4th is upon us, macaroni and cheese is another great dish to enjoy during this patriotic holiday. It just screams American food, right?
I must admit. I have been trying to create the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe for years. I have tried several different types of cheeses and seasonings. I could never get the consistency I loved. This recipe sticks to the basics and works out just right for me. It must be the combination of sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and evaporated milk. I finally found the winning combination!
This recipe makes enough for an 8 x 8 bake pan, but if you are planning to feed a larger crowd for the 4th, you can easily double it up and bake in a 13 x 9 pan. I hope that you decide to try it for the holiday and as always, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to sound off in the comments!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni (16 ounces cooked)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 tsp garlic salt
8 ounces sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
4 butter round crackers, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the macaroni noodles according to package directions.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly pour the evaporated milk into the butter mixture, while constantly whisking. The mixture should have a thick texture.
Add the cheese and salt. Stir until melted and immediately remove from heat. The mixture will be very thick.
Add 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture to the egg to prevent the egg from cooking too fast. Whisk together and add to the remaining cheese mixture.
Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Pour into a greased 8 x 8 bake pan. Sprinkle the paprika and crushed crackers on top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Allow 10 minutes to cool, then serve.