Baked Macaroni and Cheese (Grown up style)

   My family LOVES macaroni, me not so much.  But I do like the baked kind and here is my recipe for it.

    1/2 pound elbow macaroni
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 tablespoon powdered mustard
    3 cups milk
    1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1 large egg
    12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
    1 teaspoon salt
    Fresh black pepper


    3 tablespoons butter
    1 cup  bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook about 10 minutes.

    While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

    Temper in the egg. To do this take about a half a cup of the milk mixture and stir in the egg to warm it up so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in your macaroni.
  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

    Melt the butter in a saute pan and lightly stir the bread crumbs to coat. Spoon it over the macaroni. Bake for 30 minutes.  The bread crumbs should look nice and toasted that's the best way to know if it is ready.
Remove from oven and rest for five minutes so the sauce can thicken a little before serving.

It can also all be done in the Crockpot on low.

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