SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - This is a scaled down version of my Holiday Macaroni and Cheese recipe that can be made in no time. The leftovers are great for fried mac and cheese bites for appetizers. Enjoy!
1 package elbow macaroni (large or small), Barilla for best results
4 tbsp butter
2 to 3 tbsp minced onion (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 tsp ea-garlic and onion powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard or 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard.
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra*
1 cup shredded jack cheese or pepper jack, plus extra *
1 to 1 1/2 cups whole milk or fat free half and half, heated
Boil macaroni in salted boiling water according to package instructions for al dente (firm). Drain and set aside. Return pot to stove over medium/low heat, melt the butter and add the onion, salt, pepper, dry mustard, garlic and onion powders. Stir and let cook just until fragrant and onions are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, return macaroni to pot and stir to combine with butter-seasoning mixture. Next, add cheeses and heated milk and stir until cheese has melted completely. Can be served right away or follow instructions below for baked version with crunchy topping.
*Use your favorite cheese in place of Cheddar and Monterey jack.
If baking, you'll need:
1 1/4 cup French's onions or seasoned panko bread crumbs
2-quart casserole dish, sprayed with non stick cooking spray.
Pour macaroni and cheese in to casserole dish sprinkle extra cheese over the top place in 350 degree preheated oven and cook just until the cheese has melted. Top with French's onions or seasoned panko bread crumbs and continue cooking until brown and crunchy on top and heated through, about 30 to 45 minutes. Let stand for a couple of minutes before serving.
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