1/1 Photo of Cook's Illustrated Classic Macaroni and Cheese
I skipped the bread-crumb topping, and this was still to-die- for delicious. Cook's Illustrated says it's critical to cook the pasta until it is tender--just past the al dente stage. For this recipe, overcooking the pasta is better than undercooking because undercooked pasta will release starch into the sauce and make it gritty. Whole, low-fat, and skim milk all work in this recipe (I used evaporated milk and loved it--some was low fat evaporated). You can halve this recipe and broil in an 8-inch square, heatproof baking dish. If desired, serve with celery salt or hot sauce. Recipe courtesy of Entertaining by Cook's Illustrated, February 2011.
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- 6 slices white sandwich bread (hearty and torn into rough pieces)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold and cut into 6 pieces)
Pasta and Cheese
- 1For the bread-crumb topping: Pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs are about 1/8 inch, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.
- 2For the pasta and cheese: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler.
- 3Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat.
- 4Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
- 5In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming.
- 6Add flour, mustard, and cayenne and whisk well to combine.
- 7Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute.
- 8Gradually whisk in milk and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken).
- 9Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.
- 10Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted.
- 11Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
- 12Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 13x9 inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
- 13Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning.
- 14Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.
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Nutritional Facts for Cook's Illustrated Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Serving Size: 1 (306 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 706.6
- Calories from Fat 335
- Total Fat 37.3 g
- Saturated Fat 22.8 g
- Cholesterol 108.4 mg
- Sodium 513.4 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 63.4 g
- Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
- Sugars 2.6 g
- Protein 29.0 g