Pumpkin Maple Cheddar Mac & Cheese

SONY DSCYesterday was a great day in the kitchen! I spent most of my day there and loved every minute of it. I have two recipes I want to share and I usually know exactly which item I want to post first, but today I’m torn so I decided to pick this Pumpkin Mac. This dish was to die for! My cousin pointed me to a great Mac and Cheese recipe in  the current Oct. 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine, the recipe is Alton Brown‘s. I adapted this recipe to make it my own but also used some of his touches and recipe suggestions. You should get a copy of Food Network Magazine, actually, just get the subscription! Alton Brown’s Mac looks delicious. So with that recipe in mind this is what I did!

Ingredients:

1 lbs elbows (or pasta of your choice)

16 oz sharp cheddar cheese (I used blocks sliced thin)

1 small onion diced small

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 tbsp ground mustard

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

5 cups milk (I used skim)

1 can (15oz) pumpkin

4 tbsp Maple Syrup

Parsley (However much you want, it makes it look pretty)

Black Pepper to taste

 

Ingredients for Topping:

4 tbsp butter

1.5 cups Panko Bread Crumbs

Directions:

In a large pan make the elbows as directed on box. When they are done, set them aside as the cheese mix is done around the same time. In a large pan melt butter then whisk in the flour.  Add the milk, onions, ground mustard,  and paprika and heat for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium-low heat whisking often so not to scorch the milk. Make sure all the lumps are mixed in well.  Add 3 tablespoons of the Maple Syrup and 3/4 of the cheese. Stir well and often so that the cheese melts in and mixes well, making sure not to burn the mixture. When it’s done, gently stir in the elbows or pasta you are using, mixing well. Pour into your baking dish, I used my cranberry stone cooker that I love from Pampered Chef. Cut up the rest of the cheese slices into smaller chunks and place on top of the mac and cheese then drizzle the last tablespoon of maple syrup over the top. Get out a small to medium size frying pan. Melt the butter then turn the heat off and stir in bread crumbs. Top the mac and cheese and sprinkle with Parsley and black pepper. Bake at 350 degrees about 30-40 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Enjoy and try not to eat it all in one sitting!

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