Three-Cheese Mini Macs

This Grace Parisi recipe is from Food & Wine. Baked in mini-muffin pans, these fun, bite-sized mini macs are perfect for cocktail parties or just  for last minute get togethers. Use this as a starting point and then add other ingredients to make it your own such as different kinds of cheeses, finely chopped onions or shallots, crispy diced bacon, and/or chopped fresh herbs.

Photo from Food & Wine by Kana Okada


(Makes 48 mini macs)

(Takes 45 minutes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering muffin tins
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano 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 smoked Spanish paprika

DIRECTIONS

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) Liberally butter four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; 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 Parmigiano 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.

Make Ahead
The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.