Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Panko breadcrumbs are the secret ingredient in this dish. The crunchy breading often used in Japanese fried foods gives baked dishes a crispy topping similar to broiled cheese. Garlic and onion powder add zing to the cheese sauce here without compromising on creaminess.
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter or nonhydrogenated margarine
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. onion powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 cups skim milk
- ½ cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ lb. (2 cups) elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 6-cup baking dish with cooking spray. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, onion powder, and garlic powder, and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from heat, and stir in Cheddar and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in macaroni. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and top with breadcrumbs. Lightly spray breadcrumbs with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes, or until top begins to brown.
March 2009 p.44