America's Test Kitchen finds the best way to make ordinary everyday dishes the ultimate. This is a very different and delicious way to make Mac and Cheese with no baking.
- 6 slices white bread, torn into rough pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (cold)
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the bread crumbs:
- Pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses and set aside.
- For the pasta and cheese:
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler.
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat.
- Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender; drain and set aside in colander.
- In now empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming.
- Add flour, mustard, and cayenne and whisk well to combine.
- Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken).
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.
- Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted.
- Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to broiler safe 9 by 13" baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture.
- Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning.
- Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.