Friday, January 23, 2009
Mac and Cheese Bites
Last weekend I got together with the Dinner Divas and my good friend Catherine did the hosting this time. Her theme was Comfort Food and her dinner was fabulous. Broccoli and Cheddar Soup, a tasty salad with toasted pecans that had a touch of cinnamon and the star of the evening completely made from scratch Chicken Pot Pie. It was outstanding! My contribution to the dinner was the appetizer. I saw mac and cheese bites on a blog a few months back but of course I couldn't remember where I saw it. After doing a google search I found a recipe from Food and Wine Magazine for Mac and Cheese Bites. I was supposed to use mini muffin pans but I didn't have one so I use a regular muffin pan instead. The result was more like Mac and Cheese 2 or 3 Bites but the taste was great. The recipe only made 12. When I make this again in the future I will definitely purchase a mini muffin pan. I think that if the Bites were smaller I would have had an easier time getting them out of the tin.
The recipe is very straight forward and I didn't really need to make any changes. I added some Emmenthaler Cheese just because I had it on hand and I think the combination of the three cheeses was excellent. My friend Shane from bakespace suggested that I mix some panko breakcrumbs with the parmesan on top and that worked out nicely. Gave it a nice crunchy top. The only thing I would do differently next time is add a little more of the smoked paprika. I didn't taste it at all and it was fresh, I bought it that same day.
I apologize for not taking a picture of the finished product. I was in a bit of a rush because I wanted them to be hot when I served them but they needed to cool slightly before I removed them.
Here's a picture of what they looked like before they went in the oven. Sorry, that's the best I got!
Three-Cheese Mini Macs
TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
SERVINGS: 48 mini macs
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes.Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 min-utes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.