Friday, April 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Oh my goodness.  You have to try this.  It has the flavor of homemade, baked macaroni and cheese with slightly more effort than making a box of Kraft.  It got rave reviews from every member in my family.  Of course, I found the recipe on Pinterest, because that seems to be where I find everything these days.

I adapted the recipe from this recipe from A Whisk and A Prayer

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

1 ½ cups milk

12 oz can evaporated milk

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted

3 eggs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp parsley

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend, mixed with sharp cheddar)

8 oz. of shaped pasta (shells, elbows, penne, etc.), par cooked (about 4 minutes) and drained

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 

¼ cup (½ stick) butter 

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Spray a 3.5 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.  Combine milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, salt, onion powder,  mustard powder in the slow cooker.  Blend all ingredients with a stick blender or whisk.   Stir in parsley and pepper.  Add cheese and pasta.  Stir to combine. Top with Parmesan cheese.  Cook on high for 30 minutes and then on low for 2 hours.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a frying pan, add bread crumbs.  Stir occasionally until nicely browned.  Layer bread crumbs on top of mac and cheese and serve.

The beauty of this dish is we had a very nice traditional dinner - ham (left over), mac and cheese and steamed green beans, on a night that otherwise, due to time, we would have had a frozen pizza or take out.   

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