To Die for Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe absolutely blows my old homemade mac and cheese recipe out of the water. I made it once a month or so ago, and could not remember where I got the recipe from! It took me forever, but I finally found it, and thankfully was able to make it again!!! It uses monterey jack cheese, which gives it a nice flavor, and is so creamy and cheesy!!! The first time I made it I omitted the cayenne pepper, which I liked better. With it, the mac and cheese has a bit of a bite to it, which DH loved. Totally personal preference. I got this recipe from the blog The Way the Cookie Crumbles! The recipe is originally from Cooks Illustrated.
I have, like the original recipe, played with the amounts of cheddar versus monterey jack. I also just broiled cheese on top and omitted the bread crumb topping. I agree with the author of the blog, 10 oz of cheddar and 6 oz of monterey jack seems to be the best combination.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni ( I used RIgatoni, all we had in the house)
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons powdered mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 5 cups milk
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , shredded (2 cups)
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
Directions: These are a little different then the original, because I do not have a dutch oven (yet!)
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large sauce pan. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
- In now-empty pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) 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-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Broil until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.
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