- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
- 3 cups grated Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Baby Bam
- Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 350?F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, the oil, and macaroni, and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled fork or spoon to prevent the macaroni from sticking together.
- Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot from the flame and drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, pouring away from you. Rinse under cold running water and set aside to drain well.
- Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Set aside.
- Melt the remaining stick of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not allow the flour to brown. Using the whisk, add the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and 2 cups of the cheese, and stir well.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of cheese with the bread crumbs and Baby Bam.
- Add the macaroni to the pot with the milk and cheese. Stir to combine well, then pour the mixture into the buttered casserole. Top with the seasoned cheese mixture.
- Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
- Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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