Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Before 30: New Thanksgiving Dish

Growing up, Thanksgiving was such a production.  My grandmother would work all week preparing the meal for the families of all of her children (my mom had 6 sisters).  We would drive over to New Jersey early in the morning and I always loved stepping into Mom Mom's house.  The aromas of the turkey, sweet potato casserole, pie and so much more would hit you the second you opened that door.

Since my grandmother's passing and our move to Texas, our Thanksgivings have been on the smaller side but still center around family and good food.  I'll be honest, I usually leave all of the cooking to my mom.  I have helped in the past (mashing potatoes or filling a pie), but usually stick to making my staple pumpkin bread.  This year I wanted to actually take over one of the other side dishes for my mom - the baked mac & cheese.

I found a pin for mini mac & cheese (recipe on the Galley Gourmet) and decided to tweak it.  By doubling up on the ingredients I was able to make 24 minis, and also a big dish to take to my parents.  This is by far the most expensive mac & cheese I've ever made due to purchasing blocks of the three cheeses to grate.

Ingredients (original measurements, I doubled for my purpose):
-1/2 lb Elbow Macaroni
-1 1/2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
-2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
-1 cup Whole Milk
-1/2 cup White Cheddar Cheese, grated
-1/2 cup Gruyère Cheese, grated
-2 extra large Egg Yolks
-1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, grated
-1/4 cup Panko crumbs
-Pinch of Kosher Salt

I started off with a great arm work out by grating the blocks of cheese.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and follow the instructions for preparing the macaroni.  Once drained, set it off to the side.  Combine the Parmigiano and Panko into a bowl and set aside as well.

In that large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the milk, whisk until thick (about 5 minutes) and then add in your Cheddar and Gruyere cheeses until  completely melted.

Remove from heat, whisk in the egg yolks and combine the macaroni with a pinch of salt.

Since I made the minis for tasting and wouldn't be baking the full dish until the day after, I topped off the dish with the Parmigiano/Panko topping and then refrigerated for Thanksgiving.

I added a little extra cheese because we all love it

For the minis I sprayed the muffin tin, added in the macaroni and topped with the Panko cheese mixture.  Into the oven at 425 degree for 10-12 minutes and you're golden.

I knocked off a couple of minis before confirming that this is a scrumptious recipe!  Although there is extra effort, it is leaps and bounds better than our normal store bought mac & cheese.

Since the recipe was intended for the minis, my suggestion for the bigger dish would be to add more milk and cheese in the sauce, and possibly layer some cheese in with the macaroni instead of just on top.

How was your Thanksgiving meal?  Any favorite dishes?


  1. That looks fantastic! Good homemade mac & cheese is always on the expensive side but it is SO GOOD!

  2. Oh my Lordy! That mac and cheese looks soo delicious and I love the idea of having minis! They'd be a great party app! Thanks for this recipe :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. looks and sounds delicious--i bet it was a huge hit!

  4. I LOVE homemade mac and cheese. The one I make is really similar, but no eggs. yum!

  5. Oh that mac and cheese looks DIVINE!! I grate my own cheese for it too. No crappy bagged cheese is going in my homemade mac and cheese!

  6. I seriously want to come over for dinner sometime--your food looks so delicious!

  7. wow! I'll have to add egg yolks to mine next time and see what happens, but yours look amazing. Those little minis are such a fantastic idea!!!!!

  8. This looks SO good!! I love me some good mac & cheese. I'm totally craving it now!!

  9. Michelle Clark QuinnNovember 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    My word - those minis are so so cute! This looks delish - I love pasta and cheese so how could I not love this?!