And so the search began. Andy has never really liked the mac and cheese recipes I've tried...too dry, too bland...blah blah.
As is the recipe is good, but we've made minor changes to make it acceptable to be a keeper in our house. In the end I've ended up with the happiest husband when I double the cheese sauce recipe, so it stays nice and moist after baking, and it's still plenty moist as left overs.
Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese (6 servings) (my changes are in red)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (I made my own with bullion and water, for a more flavorful batch add double the bullion to the 1 cup of water)
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 1/2 cups shredded colby cheese (I've used colby, I've also just done cheddar. both are good)
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bread crumbs, give or take
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat; add the flour a little bit at a time whilst whisking to make a roux. (if you don't know what a roux is, read this)
- Heat the broth.
- Next, add the broth to the roux, and stir with the whisk; this will thicken as it heats.
- Add a little cream, watching for the desired consistency. (desired consistency is...really whenever you feel like being done. IT should be thicker than water, but it doesn't have to be very thick)
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a separate pot; add salt and pasta.
- In the other pot, add shredded cheese a 1/4 of a cup at a time whilst (I like that this recipe has the word whilst, people should use that more) stirring with a spoon. When you have about one cup of cheese in you can add the rest of the cheese.
- Cook the pasta until al dente; strain and combine with the cheese sauce.
- Pour the mix into a casserole (cover with bread crumbs) and bake uncovered in a preheated oven set to 350°F for about 10 minutes.
- Keep an eye on the mac & cheese, you want it to brown around the edges and in patches on top.
- Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I haven't been back to Cracker Barrel since making this recipe...so maybe we're WAY off, but the way I make it works for us. And whether it's like Cracker Barrel mac and cheese or not, we definitely have CB to thank for our new favorite Mac and Cheese recipe! :)