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Sunday Comfort Mac & Cheese Bake

(recipe, Sophia Cauliere)

Introduction

This is pure comfort food. Its easy to throw together with pantry staples so it works well on a Sunday night when I don't feel like running to the store. The cheese sauce is layered with flavor from the blend of several different cheeses. Recipe is easy to adapt to whatever cheese is in the fridge. Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time 30 minutes. Servings: Approximately 8 servings, 3/4 cup each.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups dry macaroni
  2. ¾ cup cheddar or Mexican cheese blend, grated
  3. ¾ cup Gruyere, grated
  4. ¼ to ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  5. 4 slices of pepper jack cheese, crumbled
  6. 8 oz. sour cream
  7. 4 oz. cream cheese (or substitute 8 oz cottage cheese)
  8. ½ cup milk
  9. 1 tsp. dry mustard
  10. 1 tsp. white pepper
  11. 1 tsp. Tabasco or more to taste
  12. 2 cloves minced garlic (or approx 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  13. 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers (seasoned with garlic powder or garlic salt - seasoned bread crumbs work well too)
  14. 4 Tbsp. butter

Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Cook the macaroni according to directions and drain
  3. While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the cheeses, the sour cream, the milk, the dry mustard, white pepper, garlic and Tabasco. Add milk until it has a creamy texture that is a little bit runny.
  4. Spray a casserole dish (9X11 or 10 in oval) with cooking spray.
  5. Spread macaroni and cheese mixture into the casserole dish.
  6. Mix breadcrumbs and butter. Spread breadcrumbs in a layer over the top of the casserole and back at 350 for about 30 minutes (until breadcrumbs are browned and casserole is set).