Tahoe recipe: Baked mac & cheese a perfect barbecue side dish
Even though the Fourth of July is beyond us, we’re smack in the middle of summer grilling season and Lake Tahoe, and any good cookout starts with great food.
This macaroni-and-cheese dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Not only is it delicious — it’s quick and easy.
This recipe will serve 10 people as a side dish. If you are cooking for more, simply double or even triple the ingredients. The dish will turn out just as good as the original recipe.
BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE
Makes 10 servings
1 box pasta noodles (I used cellentani)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with an oil butter or non-stick spray. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente (soft, but not overcooked), drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Make a béchamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottom sauce pot over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for about 2 minutes.
Be careful not to let it brown. Add the milk and increase the heat slightly, continuing to whisk until the sauce thickens. Once the béchamel has thickened to a gravy-like consistency, remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese.
Pour the cheesy béchamel sauce over the pasta and stir gently until the pasta is entirely coated. Transfer cheesy pasta to the baking dish and top with rest of the cheese. Mix panko breadcrumbs with melted butter and top the pasta evenly with panko.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes to lightly brown the top. Let the dish set at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit http://www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party.