Beer Mac and Cheese

photo(316)Ah, the perfect comfort food – Mac and Cheese. While Thomas Jefferson is often credited to have introduced this steaming bowl of pasta and melted cheese to the United States, its origins can easily be traced to Italy, home of the pasta. Its popularity extends worldwide and entrepreneurs were quick to capitalize on this popularity by producing  instant, boxed and frozen versions.  Of course, nothing beats the thrill of preparing this simple dish at home, especially when adding one’s favorite beer to the recipe. So, what’s your favorite beer brand?image

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups elbow noodles, cooked according to package instructions and drained

2 tbsps butter

2 tbsps all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 cup beer

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp paprika

Ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a sauce pan, heat butter over medium high heat until melted.  Add flour and whisk until it turns golden brown. Add milk and beer, whisking constantly.  Add cheddar and parmesan cheese until melted.  Reduce heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Add pepper and paprika.  Place cooked and drained macaroni in an oven-safe casserole dish.  Add in cheese mixture. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.  Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake casserole for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and top with fresh basil.

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