Quick Eats: Baked Macaroni & Cheese

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I’m officially snowed in for the weekend (SNOWPOCALYPSE 2013!), and I physically CANNOT watch any more movies on Netflix. I just don’t have it in me. I had to take a break and get up to do something, anything, to pass the time.

Since I’m fortunate enough to still have power, I decided to bake a ton of macaroni & cheese- and document it!

*NOTE: I went a little overboard and made enough mac & cheese to serve a dozen people, or in my case, enough mac & cheese to last me a solid week and a half- so amounts and measurements may vary depending on how much of this stuff you want to bake.*

YOU WILL NEED:

* 2 1-lb. Boxes of penne pasta.

* 2 Quarts of 2% milk.

* 2 Quarts of light cream.

* 8 Cups of 4-cheese blend shredded cheese (Make sure the package DOES NOT contain mozzarella cheese!).

* 4 Large (or 8 small) Chicken bouillon cubes.

* 2 Cups potato chips.

* 2 Cups Plain bread crumbs.

* 1/2 Tablespoon of salt.

* 1/2 Tablespoon of pepper.

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OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Pour the 2 quarts of cream, the 2 quarts of milk, and the 8 cups of shredded cheese into a 5 quart pot and slowly bring to a boil while stirring.

2. As the sauce is boiling, gently crumble the chicken bouillon cubes into the mixture. Continue to stir.

3. As the cheese begins to melt and the cube crumbles dissolve, swap the spoon for a whisk, and whisk the mixture so it thickens as it continues to boil.

4. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of pepper. From here, if you so desire- you can add additional ingredients. I’ve heard of some people adding pieces of bacon, jalapeño pepper, bits of tomato, etc. Whatever you want! Just be sure to continue whisking the sauce to get it nice and thick.

*The sauce has to come to a boil, and not just while you’re stirring it. If you stop stirring and the sauce is not bubbling, it needs to be heated more*

5. When the sauce reaches a thick texture, let it simmer. You can now begin boiling water to pour the 2 pounds of penne pasta into. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of salt to give the pasta a little more flavor as it cooks.

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6. While your pasta cooks, and your sauce simmers, take the 2 cups of potato chips and the 2 cups of plain bread crumbs and HULK SMASH THEM TOGETHER into a bowl.

7. Preheat your oven to 350°.

8. When your pasta is done cooking (the goal is to still have some texture to it. Try not to let the penne get too soggy!), strain out the excess water and pour the pasta into a baking pan.

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9. Pour your sauce over the pasta and mix thoroughly. Try to get every piece of penne coated in the sauce.

10. Sprinkle, or shake, your crunchy chip & breadcrumb topping over the pasta and sauce.

11. When your oven is ready, heat for approximately 30 minutes. If you want your macaroni and cheese to be crunchier, heat for a little longer- roughly 45 minutes.

12. Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven and let cool.

13. SHOVEL MAC N’ CHEESE INTO MOUTH.

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The best part about making so much of this? I have enough of it left over to last me if I remain snowed in for any significant amount of time.

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