The following recipe was created (by me!) for a special blog, created for cheese lovers. Mmmmm, cheese! The blog will post one new and unique macaroni and cheese recipe each day for thirty days! Today is the day MY recipe gets posted. Whee! I'd love for you to check it out. :) While over there poke around and take a gander at all the other drool-worthy mac'n cheese recipes! Total eye candy and tummy rumbles happening over there! The blog is here, 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni & Cheese.
Often, the element missing from a stovetop macaroni and cheese is that crunchy top achieved from oven baked recipes. Well, this delectable stovetop mac and cheese does not fail to deliver that delicious crunchy texture! Crispy cheese crumbles top this rich macaroni, delivering a full flavored punch and crunch. Yum!
Crunchy Cheese Crusted Stovetop Mac n' Cheese
4 oz. Wisconsin Cheddar, finely shredded (reserve)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 C. onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
16 ounces (1 pound) Corkscrew pasta
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (more or less to taste)
10 ounces Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
6 ounces Wisconsin Monterey Jack cheese
Begin by making the cheese crisps that will form the crunchy topping.
Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Using the finely grated Wisconsin cheddar, sprinkle a tablespoon at a time to in a thin layer on the hot pan, each tablespoon of cheese being separate from the rest (makes it easier to flip later). Cheese will melt and become bubbly. As cheese melts and becomes oily, gently tilt the pan so oil runs off. Use a paper towel to blot away the excess oil. It may not look pretty at this stage, but it will be divine on the finished mac and cheese! When cheese begins to harden and stick together flip over with a spatula. Cheese will become lacy and cohesive, holding together and no longer being bubbly. Remove to cooling rack when done. Sprinkle with garlic salt while still hot. Cheese crisps will harden to cracker-like consistency upon cooling. Once completely cool, chop/break into small pieces to make the crunchy crumble topping.
In a heavy saucepan melt the butter, add the diced onions. Cook on medium-low heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Once onions are cooked through, add the flour. Mix the butter/onions into the flour, stirring constantly. This will quickly become a thick paste-like consistency, known as a roux! Be careful not to brown the roux, cook for 3 minutes.
Add the milk slowly, whisk constantly. This forms the base of the creamy sauce. When milk is fully incorporated and mixture begins to thicken, add the cheese. Continue to stir as the cheese melts and becomes a gooey paradise of cheesiness. Add the paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir, stir, stir. The paprika will darken the sauce dramatically, but the flavor it brings to the cheddar and onion party is oh-so-good!
Add the cooked Corkscrew macaroni, stir well until blended. Serve immediately, top with the cheese crisp crumbles.
This is a sponsored post. I was contacted by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to create my own unique mac n' cheese recipe, to take part in their 2nd annual Macaroni & Cheese Blog to celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day! This is my submission. :)