Casino Kitchen: Creamy Baked Macoroni and Cheese

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Ingredients

Béchamel Sauce:

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

1 1/4 cup milk, heated

salt and pepper, to taste

Macaroni and Cheese:

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4 ounces precooked chicken, cubed

2 ounces precooked bacon, chopped

4 cups precooked elbow macaroni

Topping:

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

pinch of dried sage (optional)

pinch of dried thyme (optional)

pinch of dried rosemary (optional)

2 tbsp. butter, melted

Directions

Béchamel Sauce:

1)Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

2)Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles; about 2 minutes.

3)Whisk in the heated milk, continuing to whisk as the sauce thickens, but not too thick as it should be creamy when it comes out of the oven!

4)Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, whisking for 2-3 minutes more.

Macaroni and Cheese:

1)Add all dry ingredients to the Béchamel sauce and mix well. Note that the dry mustard will help bring out the flavor of the cheese!

2)Add all but 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese to the sauce along with more salt and pepper to taste if desired.

3)Stir and cook until the cheese is fully melted; about 2-3 minutes.

4)Add the chicken and bacon, stir until mixed well.

5)Add elbow macaroni to the sauce and stir until coated. Elbow macaroni holds onto the sauce nicely!

6)Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, mixing gently as to not melt the cheese all of the way.

7)Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a large cast-iron skillet.

Topping:

1)In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, herbs and butter.

2)Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

3)Bake at 375F until golden brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes.

To Plate:

Dish up the Mac ‘N Cheese right out of the cast-iron skillet onto plates. Serve with a green salad or as a side with your favorite meatloaf.




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