The month of September means many things to many different people. In my world, it means too many #PSLs on twitter, baking with butternut squash, a month till the big 2-6, breaking in my new ankle booties and of course, all the good television is back! I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have my Homeland Sundays, New Girl Tuesdays, Top Chef Wednesdays and Parenthood Thursdays back in my life. Hollaaaaaa, ugly Carrie tears!
With premiere week around the corner, I want to share a recipe perfect for viewing parties (and Emmy parties!) We made these little bytes a few weeks back when I finally got two of my best gal’s hooked on Homeland. Over the course of 2 rainy Sundays, we powered through season 1 and it ROCKED. I could write a novel about how much I love Homeland. Re-watching Season 1 only affirmed my obsession. Regardless, while binge-watching Saul, Carrie, Dana & Brody, we munched on candy, twizzlers, pizza and crudites but these mac & cheese bytes were definitely the highlight.
Made with three different types of cheese, these things are tasty – simple – adaptable. The trifecta of what a good snack should be, don’t you think? They’re gooey, cheesy, kinda spicy, crunchy, easy to make …. yeah, you catch my drift. Is there seriously anything better than bite-size baked pasta?
Three-Cheese Mini Macs : Food & Wine
- 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 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 Spanish-style smoked 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 Parmesan; 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 Parmesan 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 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
*While we followed this recipe to a tee for the first time, we made a second batch with a few changes. We added in a tablespoon of Gourmet Garden Herbs (Chili Pepper, Italian Herbs) and I can only imagine how easy and delicious it would be to add different ingredients and cheeses. Blue cheese, caramelized onions, peppers, gruyere, etc, etc, etc. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a super adaptable recipe, so go on and get creative! 🙂