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Baked Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ c shells or macaroni
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp powdered mustard
  • 2 c milk
  • ½ c yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 c sharp cheddar, shredded (12 oz)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1 c Ham, diced (optional)
  • ½ C. breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

  4. Temper in the egg. Stir in all of the cream cheese and ¾ of the cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni and ham into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with bread crumbs and bake 20 minutes more.

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