Mac & Cheese Bites

INGREDIENTS

6 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs, divided

1 cup whole milk or half & half, or a combination

1 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters

1/2 tsp. salt

Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

Dash nutmeg

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, divided

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

Makes about 35 mac & cheese bites

METHOD

Prepare macaroni ahead of time, cooking 1-2 minutes less than the time on the box. Drain and rinse well. If cooking a day ahead, cover and refrigerate. Macaroni should not be wet when starting this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9” baking pan. Sprinkle with about 3 tablespoons of the bread crumbs; shake pan to coat bottom and sides. Place remaining bread crumbs (1/3 cup or so) in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the Romano cheese; set aside.

Measure milk. Add ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir to dissolve salt. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Stir in milk mixture. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Let rest 5 minutes; stir again. Spoon into prepared baking pan and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle bread crumb/cheese mixture over macaroni. Bake uncovered 35-45 minutes until edges are browned. Let cool 20 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut 35 squares (7 rows x 5 rows). Remove from pan with a metal spatula. Serve warm.

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Recipe by Rita Held

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