Sunday, 3 February 2008

Smoky Four Cheese Macaroni Bake

1 (12 ounce) package macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (optional)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes more. Slowly stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Stir in the half-and-half and milk, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in mustard powder and liquid smoke; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, along with the cream cheese, Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar cheeses; stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the drained macaroni noodles. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the macaroni, and bake in preheated oven until bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Best Blogger Tips

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