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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1 lb macaroni
2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Directions


Preheat oven to 350.

Shred cheese.

Cook macaroni to package directions, stopping 2-3 minutes before they're fully done (al-dente) Set cooked pasta aside in a casserole dish.

Heat a low pot over medium. Once hot, melt butter. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour. Continue to whisk butter and flour together for another minute then gradually add milk and cream. Add bay leaves, dry mustard and paprika. Increase heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, prepare breadcrumbs: heat butter and olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add breadcrumbs and toast until they're brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

After 10 minutes of simmering, pull bay leaves out of sauce, then fold in shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is fully incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Pour cheese over macaroni in the casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes.

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