Killer Mac and Cheese

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, and makes an incredible rich cream mac and cheese.  You can use a variety of cheeses – as long as one is semi-hard and full flavored like cheddar, and the other is soft like colby jack (I used Port Salut and it was delicious).

Ingredients

  • 1 c bread crumbs
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (or any other type of small pasta)
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 6 T flour
  • 1.75 c broth
  • 3.5 c whole milk
  • 8 oz colby jack cheese, shredded (about 5 1/3 cups)
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, stir in 1T salt, and add macaroni.
  2. Cook until al dente according to the instructions on the box (it should be very chewy, as it will continue cooking in the oven).  Drain and set aside.
  3. In the same pot (after you dry it), heat butter over medium heat until melted.
  4. Add garlic, mustard, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.
  6. Slowly whisk in the broth and milk – bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheeses gradually until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Combine cheese mixture and pasta, breaking up any clumps.
  9. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13″ baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  10. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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