Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by people of all ages. There are countless variations of this cheesy dish, but one recipe that stands out from the rest is the Best Easy Mikes Farm Mac and Cheese Recipe. This recipe takes the traditional mac and cheese and elevates it to a whole new level with its rich and creamy flavors.
To start off, gather the following ingredients: 1 pound of elbow macaroni, 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of whole milk, ½ cup of heavy cream, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Begin by cooking the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux, cooking for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and heavy cream, ensuring there are no lumps. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Next, add the shredded cheddar cheese to the saucepan, reserving about 1 cup for topping. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Finally, add the cooked macaroni to the saucepan and stir until well coated.
Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved shredded cheese on top. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Now, let’s move on to some commonly asked questions about this delicious mac and cheese recipe:
1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes, you can use any pasta shape you prefer. However, elbow macaroni works best as it holds the cheese sauce well.
2. Can I use a different type of cheese?
While cheddar cheese is traditionally used in mac and cheese, you can experiment with other cheeses like Gruyère, Monterey Jack, or even a blend of different cheeses for added flavor.
3. Can I make this recipe in advance?
Yes, you can assemble the mac and cheese ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just make sure to bake it right before serving to ensure it stays creamy.
4. Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
5. Can I add additional ingredients like bacon or vegetables?
Absolutely! You can customize the recipe by adding cooked bacon, sautéed vegetables, or even a sprinkle of breadcrumbs on top for added crunch.
6. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend to make the sauce gluten-free. Also, make sure to use gluten-free pasta.
7. Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes, you can substitute the milk, cream, butter, and cheese with plant-based alternatives like almond milk, coconut cream, vegan butter, and vegan cheese.
In conclusion, the Best Easy Mikes Farm Mac and Cheese Recipe is a crowd-pleasing dish that combines the creamy goodness of cheese with perfectly cooked pasta. With its simple preparation and versatile nature, it’s a recipe worth adding to your comfort food repertoire.