Alton Brown. Like most FN stars, you either love or hate Alton Brown. I love his quirky show. He is kind of the Cooks Illustrated aka Test Kitchen of the FN. Does it bug you that I like to abbreviate? My friend KD likes it, I like it, it saves time, and causes you to think- “Why does she do this?” Or “What does FN stand for?”
Alton Brown's Baked Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced*
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to 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 five minutes.
- Make sure it's free of lumps.
- Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.
- Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
- Temper in the egg.
- Stir in 3/4 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.
- For Topping:
- Melt the butter in a saute 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 five minutes before serving.
Tips:- I minced the onion, bc I was making it for a family with younger kids, who I thought might not like onions, I could not detect the onions in the dish after baking.-To temper and egg: When egg yolks are added into a hot mixture, to help ensure that they do not suddenly cook or scramble, a technique called tampering is used. With a ladle, gradually add about 1 cup of the hot mixture into egg yolks, mixture constantly. Then, add egg yolk mixture to mixture in pan and continue cooking according to the recipe.