Comfort food at its finest!
My daughter is a healthcare worker and was able to get a few days off this past week. She decided to come home to enjoy the peace and quiet of our tree-lined property. A brief get-away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city…
While she was home, I decided to reorganize my pantry and she noticed a box of elbow noodles on the shelf. She remarked that a Mac and Cheese dinner would be a delicious treat. She said, “Mac and Cheese comforts my soul.” Naturally, I gathered the ingredients and I cooked up a huge baker filled with delicious cheesy goodness. I was sure to pack up the leftovers so she could take them back home with her and munch on them after a long night at work. I got a text shortly after she arrived home thanking me and letting me know how great it was to be back home. And, to reiterate her love for this Mac and Cheese recipe.
Creamy and Crunchy Mac and Cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 lb. (16 oz. box) elbow macaroni
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Hot Sauce)
2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (I use Jack Stack Barbecue – Kansas City, all purpose seasoning)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
16 ounces Mozzarella, grated
½ stick butter, melted
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Cook macaroni according to package directions; until al dente. Drain well and return to pot. Add butter to noodles and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, whole milk, and eggs. Stir in the hot sauce, all purpose seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the cheeses; lightly toss and set aside.
For topping- In a small bowl, mix melted butter with breadcrumbs; set aside
Spread one third of the macaroni in an even layer in the prepared baking dish; cover evenly with one third of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and shredded cheeses. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the contents of the baking dish, sprinkle with topping and bake until the top layer is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.