04 January 2008

Mini mac & cheese casserole

When Mike saw this photo on my flickr page, he practically started drooling. Unfortunately for him, I made and ate them on the sly. Next time I'll share!

This is my way of sprucing up a boxed mac-n-cheese mix and creating a super-satisfying comfort meal. I usually buy the Annie's gluten-free macaroni and cheese, but it should work for just about any kind, gf or regular.

I prepared the mac and cheese per the package directions. I ate about 1 serving as is, then divided up the rest into 2 Corniware 16-oz dishes. I let them cool to room temperature, then lidded and put in the fridge.

When I was ready to bake one for lunch, I took it out of the fridge and topped with fresh-grated cheddar cheese and Gluten-Free Pantry's Herbed Bread Crumb Coating. I put it, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Here's a trick--if you don't preheat the oven, you can put a casserole dish in cold from the fridge. Then it heats evenly and you don't have to worry about cold dish / hot oven disasters. (I learned that from an over-eager Le Creuset sales lady.) It takes a little longer to warm through, but with such a small dish the time is minimal.

The fresh cheddar and the bread crumbs melted then crisped together for a delicious crust. Eating this for lunch on a cold winter's day warmed me all over. It's not particularly healthy, but it's totally yummy.

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