Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Let me just start off by saying, this is NOT a solo cooking job. This is for you and your significant other or a child who can read and measure. (Emphasis on knowing how to read and measure a recipe. JimBob mistook tsp for tbsp and we ended up over seasoning and over salting this casserole.) Maybe I left my Kali (Hindu’s Divine Mother) arms in the car, but I could not have possibly done this one without a little help from my friends.

Tonight’s dinner comes from Carlsbad Cravings, you can find the recipe here. I am a HUGE fan of cheese. Couldn’t live my life without it. And this recipe really looked like an interesting twist on one of my favorite meals, baked macaroni and cheese casserole. This author’s post may be a bit deceiving. She makes it sound so easy, and claims a quick 20 min of meal prep. Perhaps it’s because I’m 33 weeks pregnant and moving at half speed, but, even with the help of JimBob, we didn’t get the casserole into the oven until the 80 min mark.

Prep Time: 80 min (20 according to the original poster)

Bake Time: 25-30 min

1 pound CELLENTANI PASTA (or substitute your favorite mac n cheese pasta)

1/4 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

3 cups MILK

1 12 oz. can EVAPORATED MILK

tablespoon CORNSTARCH

1 tablespoon DIJON MUSTARD

1 tablespoon chicken bouillon

1 tsp (that’s teaspoon, not tablespoon. *cough* JimBob) EACH ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER, DRIED PARSLEY, SALT

1/2 teaspoon PEPPER

1/4-1/2 teaspoon RED PEPPER FLAKES (This is optional. We opted out because the littles don’t like spicy food.)

4 cups FRESHLY GRATED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE

6-8 slices PROVOLONE CHEESE

1 cup SOUR CREAM

1 cup GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

PANKO TOPPING (This is optional, but it adds yet another layer of texture to an already amazing meal. We went for it!)
3/4 cup PANKO BREADCRUMBS
2 tablespoon BUTTER
1 tablespoon EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Cook pasta just until al dente according to package directions – take care to not overcook! Strain and rinse with cold water. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
(Sorry, I didn’t get pictures of this. I’m a pregnant bum that’s getting over a cold.)
Create a roux by melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and the whisk in the flour. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in milk. Whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk and gradually add to skillet followed by Dijon mustard and all remaining spices/seasonings.
Bring to a boil, whisking constantly then reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (but not overly thick). Remove from heat and whisk in sharp cheese until melted. Add pasta and toss until evenly coated (it will seem like a lot of extra sauce which is a good thing).
Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into prepared baking dish. Layer macaroni evenly with provolone cheese followed by an even layer of sour cream. Pour remaining macaroni and cheese over sour cream and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan cheese (or more to taste).
Panko topping (optional): Melt butter in olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add panko and stir to coat. Continue cooking until crumbs become golden brown. Evenly sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.
img_2262
Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and inside provolone is melted. If not topping with panko, broil until Parmesan is golden. Cool 10 minutes to set before serving.
img_2263

Scoring:

Prep: 3 om noms (out of 5)

This took a really long time to prep for macaroni and cheese. The only reason I have it 3 om noms instead of 1 or 2 was because it is WORTH IT.

Cook: 4 om noms

25 min isn’t a long time to cook, but with the prep time this became an almost 2 hour meal.

Tastiness: 5 om noms

This was great. It would have been even better if my sous chef, JimBob, had read the abbreviation tsp as teaspoon instead of tablespoon. We got over seasoned, and DEFINITELY over salted.

JimBob: 4.5 tasties

The only downside this dish had was the preparation time. … And I suppose I should have put the right amount of seasoning in.

Goddess: 5 yummy, that’s good!s

“I looooooooooooooooove it!” She even took seconds.

img_2266

Shakespeare: 5 mmmms

Shakespeare has been on a kick of saying “I don’t like it” to every single meal that is placed in front of him. With this, he immediately said “that looks yummy!” He really dug in and absolutely loved this.

img_2269

Once A Week, Every Other Week, Once A Month, Once A Year, or Never Again?

Flavor wise, we would all make this a every week or every other week meal. But with the prep time, and the cheese content (I am conscious of the fact that cheese makes me fat, I just tend to ignore it most of the time), this will be a once a month-or-so meal. But it is most definitely a meal to repeat. SO WORTH IT!

Om nom on, people!

Advertisements

Tagged: ,

4 thoughts on “Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

  1. Lulu gallo January 8, 2017 at 8:28 PM Reply

    Looks delicious
    We had homemade mac and cheese last night, but nothing as spectacular as this
    Glad the kids ate it without conflict 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Om Nom Mom January 8, 2017 at 8:30 PM Reply

      Don’t you just love homemade mac and cheese? This one was definitely spectacular. Well worth the time to prepare.

      Like

  2. Lulu gallo January 8, 2017 at 9:07 PM Reply

    Claire had a BLT mac and cheese

    at a restaurant earlier this week and said ” mom, I still like our recipe the best “

    Like

    • The Om Nom Mom January 8, 2017 at 9:11 PM Reply

      JimBob was saying he wants to add bacon crumbles to the top. If we had an appropriate amount of salt, possibly less than the recipe ACTUALLY says (instead of the large amount he put in), then bacon might be a welcome addition.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: