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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pioneer Woman Macaroni and Cheese

I am picky about my macaroni and cheese. No EasyMac here (except for dire dinner emergencies, let's be honest). I like a nice cheese sauce to pasta ratio with cavatappi pasta instead of regular elbow macaroni (Whole Foods has spoiled me forever).

I have tried versions by Martha Stewart and Barefoot Contessa, which were very good, but still not cheese-y enough for me. Any good macaroni and cheese usually starts with a bechamel sauce. However, I have never done a version with eggs in it and I wanted to see if it would make a difference. Boy oh boy!

Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese (adapted)
  • 4 cups dried cavatappi
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 Stick) Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (not in original recipe, but I love the creaminess it adds)
  • Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme


-Cook pasta until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
-In a small bowl, beat egg.
-In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
-Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
-Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. -Whisk together till smooth.
-Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
-Add in cheese, sour cream and stir to melt.
-Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
-Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
-Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.


What about you guys? Do you have any favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipes that I should try?

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