Perfect Macaroni and Cheese
- Ready In:
- 6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
- 5 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 1⁄2 cups about 18 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups about 8 ounces grated gruyere or 1 1/4 cups about 5 ounces grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- 2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- 3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
- 4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
- 5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.
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RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
Photography has been my hobby for many years and so has cooking. I am by no means a seasoned chef. Most of the recipes on here are new challenges for me, but I love trying new things, and I've discovered a real love for baking (especially desserts, as you can probably tell) The majority these recipes are my original recreations. There are a few family recipes and some adaptations of existing recipes. I will rarely post an exact copy of a source's recipe because I love to fiddle with ingredients.