Baked Mac & Cheese

Mac­a­roni and cheese, Alton Brown style.

Diamonds may last forever, but you can always make more mac 'n' cheese!
  • Ingre­di­ents:
  • 12 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. pow­dered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 12 cup yel­low onion, fine­ly diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 tsp. paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 oz. sharp ched­dar, shredded
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Pre­heat oven to 350°.

In a large pot of boil­ing, salt­ed water cook the pas­ta al dente.

While the pas­ta is cook­ing, in a sep­a­rate pot, melt the but­ter. Whisk in the flour and mus­tard and keep it mov­ing for about 5 min­utes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and papri­ka. Sim­mer for 10 min­utes and remove the bay leaf.

Tem­per in the egg. Stir in 34 of the cheese. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Fold the mac­a­roni into the mix and pour into a 2‑quart casse­role dish. Top with remain­ing cheese.

Melt the but­ter in a sauté pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the mac­a­roni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 min­utes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 min­utes before serving.

Remem­ber to save left­overs for fried Mac­a­roni and Cheese!

Temper the Egg? What, Is It Mad at Me?

If you crack an egg into your sauce while you’re sim­mer­ing it, you’ll wind up with a scram­bled egg float­ing around in the sauce. Tem­pering an egg is a way of com­bin­ing it with oth­er hot ingre­di­ents with­out cook­ing the egg:

Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk it; add just a lit­tle bit of the sauce at a time, whisk­ing con­stant­ly. Once you’ve added enough of your sauce so that the egg is mixed in com­plete­ly but has­n’t turned into scram­bled eggs, you can add it back to the rest of the sauce.