The BEST Baked Mac n Cheese ever!!!
I must warn you all before you make this…it is so not healthy and after you make it the first time you will want to make it once a week.
Growing up my mom made the BEST mac n cheese ever and as I became older I watched her make it intently. She never really did measure anything, she just kind of added as she went along. I have that bad habit of doing the same exact thing. Recently I posted a pic of my baked mac n cheese and had requests for the recipe. I can easily ramble off the ingredients to anyone, but the amounts used well that is another thing. Anyway, I took my time and kind of eyeballed the measurements, and am giving you all the closest I can get. This recipe will yield 2 pans. I guess you can break it down in half, but I always make two.
16 oz box of elbow macaroni (The big box, you can use other noodles but to me mac n cheese should be elbow noodles)2 sticks of butter (not low fat, real butter)2 cups of sour cream (once again no reduced fat)4 Tbs all purpose flourSalt and Pepper to taste2 cups of whole milk3 cups of heavy cream or half and half1 block of Velveeta Cheddar1 big bag of pizza blend shredded cheeseOptional: ham chunks, bacon pieces, bread crumbs**The reason for not using reduced fat is b/c I have tried and when you do, it comes out clumpy and leaky…just not a good combination**Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your pans/baking dishes with cooking spray and set aside (I use a 13x9x2 disposable pans, if you use disposable pans, be sure to place a regular pan under it in the oven or the bottom burns since they are so thin).
Cook noodles until al dente, in salted water. When al dente (still firm, but mostly cooked), remove and drain. Make sure to not completely cook through, as they will continue to cook when baking. You can divide the noodles in half and place them into the sprayed pans.
In a decent size saucepan/pot, melt the butter. Once melted, slowly sprinkle in flour and stir to combine.
Slowly add the milk, cream, cheese(cut into chunks) and sour cream into the mixture, stirring constantly . Bring mixture almost to a boil, then reduce to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until thickened.–If you are going to add the ham chunks then you should add it in now. *You must stir constantly or it will burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. Season to taste and remove from heat.
Pour the cheese sauce equally into the two pans. **If you are using bacon pieces, you can sprinkle them on the top of the noodles and sauce. (I usually do one pan with and one without).
Sprinkle the top of the pans with the pizza blend shredded cheese. **If you are using bread crumbs–you should sprinkle them on the top of the pans until they are covered. Then melt a stick of butter and pour over the bread crumbs.
Bake 30-35 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly and golden brown. (I cover mine, as you can see from the picture, I do not like the cheese to turn brown and get crispy, I like it melted and stringy…lol)