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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipe for Three Cheese Mini Macs Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

Three Cheese Mini Macs from Food and Wine
We were hosting a pot-luck cookout for a bunch of our friends and I wanted to have something homey on the menu.  The ladies stick mainly to healthy eats as I do but we also like a treat, especially if it is portion controlled like these delicious little bites of mac and cheese from Food and Wine

These mini macs were pretty easy to make.  The blend of 3 kinds of cheese made them, well, really cheesy.  I made them ahead and then popped them back in the oven to warm up as the burgers and chicken were coming off the grill. 

The original recipe made 48 minis which would have been too many so my intent was to cut the recipe in half.  As I got into it, I realized the proportions weren’t quite right in the original recipe.  I adjusted as I went along and I still only got 20 minis so I’m not convinced the original recipe would have made 48.

I would make two changes.  I would sprinkle the top with paprika before serving (added to the recipe below) and although the reheating worked OK, they tasted better when they were freshly made.  So, I’d make them ahead but not bake them until 30 minutes before I was ready to serve.

Makes 20 minis, each with approximately 39 calories, 1.6 grams fat, 3.2 grams carbs, 2 grams protein

5 oz by weight of elbow macaroni
1 TBSP melted butter, plus more for prepping the muffin pan
2 TBSP packaged grated Parmesan cheese (you know, the kind in the plastic container with the green label)
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp AP flour
½ cup 1% milk
½ cup finely grated low fat cheddar cheese
2 slices 2% American cheese torn into strips
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp smoked paprika plus more for final sprinkle
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (from a block of good aged cheese)

Cook macaroni per package directions in salted water until al dente.  Drain in colander.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Brush mini muffin pan with melted butter and sprinkle with packaged grated Parmesan.  Shake out excess.

In the same saucepan you cooked macaroni in, melt 1 TBSP butter and whisk in the flour over medium-medium high heat. Cook whisking regularly for 2 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a gentle boil (keep whisking).

Add in the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted.

Remove from heat and stir in the egg yolk and paprika (if you haven’t tried smoked paprika-get some-it is wonderful).

Fold in the macaroni and stir well to coat with cheese sauce.

Spoon into muffin tin, packing as you go-you want them to come out whole so smoosh down to pack the macaroni in the muffin cup.  Sprinkle the tops with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until sizzling.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Run a sharp knife around the edges and remove gently with 2 spoons.  Plate and serve.

Do you have a favorite portion controlled treat to share?

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