Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese

I was making dinner with a friend the other night.  Her friend was also coming.  Friend of a friend, but now she is my friend too.  Anyways, I asked what she likes when we were deciding what to make.  And the answer was extremely straight-forward, "Mac and cheese and broccoli".  It didn't leave much room for creativity, but it made things easy.

Me, I am not a cheese person.  (Yes, I am a goat cheese person, obv.)  But, I totally wish I was.  And that I was sophisticated enough to enjoy fine wines and fancy cheese.  You know, the straight up fancy cheese.  No crackers or anything like that.  

As a result, I don't usually make/eat cheesy mc-cheese cheese dishes.  Unless, someone else reminds me or wants me to.  Good thing for all the cheese lovers out there!

I enjoyed this mac and cheese recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I actually liked it a lot pre-baking.  I love all the black pepper and the dry mustard.  I added some garlic and onion powder, as was recommended at Annie's Eats.  I couldn't really tell, but I am sure it didn't hurt anything.  Annie actually tested out 5 different recipes and this was her favorite (which is part of the reason I picked it).  And good for Annie because I couldn't eat mac and cheese that often if my life depended on it.  

And we did have this with some steamed broccoli.  Served in a piggy bowl.  For obvious reasons.  

Here it is all baked up.  

Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese

4 cups Dried Macaroni (you can use a full pound, which is slightly more)
1 whole Egg, Beaten
1/4 cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 pound Cheese, Grated
1/2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Cook macaroni 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 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.

(Servings: 4-6, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)

Printable Version

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  5/10
Effort:  2/5
Dishwashing Effort:  2/5


  1. i am definitely a cheese person. i have cheese at almost every meal. i'm having a poor week, and i've been eating grilled cheese every night, and i'm totally okay with it because it is delicious.

    also, this looks amazing, i'll have to try it once it cools down a little more.

  2. i used to live off of cheese sandwiches in college. not grilled though. and i loved them. i guess i am more of a cold cheese person and less of a melted cheese person. maybe? no, i mean, i do love a grilled cheese.

  3. I am a fickle cheese person...I only like it when it's melted on bread or crust (thus my love for pizza) or in pasta dishes like this! Gosh...this looks creamy and too tempting to pass up. And I love your pig bowl!