Mac ‘n' Cheese Casserole Creole Style - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Mac ‘n' Cheese Casserole Creole Style

Prep Time: 1 and 1/2 Hours
Yields: 10-12 Servings

Comment:
In America today, Mac ‘n' Cheese means a blue box with powdered ingredients and dried elbow macaroni. It really is a shame that when a dish is so simple to make from scratch and enhance its quality with unique ingredients that cooks don't jump at the opportunity. This recipe should be your enticement.

Ingredients:

12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 and 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese
1/2 cup finely grated aged Gouda cheese
2 and 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated Edam cheese, divided
1 pound crawfish tails
3 tbsps butter
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers 
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 and 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 tbsps melted butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Butter a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish and set aside. In a pot, boil macaroni in lightly salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. While macaroni is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in milk and cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, approximately 5 minutes. Add coarsely grated Gouda cheese and 1 and 1/2 cups Edam cheese. Stir until cheeses melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg then season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Set sauce aside and keep warm. Place bread crumbs in a medium bowl, drizzle with melted butter and toss. Add 1/2 cup finely grated Gouda and sprinkle with salt and pepper, tossing to season evenly. Set aside. Drain macaroni and stir into warm cheese sauce. Place half macaroni and cheese mixture in prepared baking dish and smooth top. Top with remaining Edam cheese and crawfish tails. Spread remaining macaroni mixture evenly over top then sprinkle with seasoned bread crumb mixture. Bake until bread crumbs are golden and edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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