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Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

 
57

Thank you Martha Stewart! She says it's important to use pungent cheeses. Sharp white cheddar produces the smoothest result; yellow and extra sharp cheddars can become grainy. MAKE SURE to pay attention to the steps so your cheese doesn't curdle.

Yield

12

servings

Prep

45

min

Cook

30

min

Ready

80

min

 

Ingredients

6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 c. (about 18 oz)grated sharp white cheddar
2 c. (8oz.) grated gruyere or 1 1/4 cups(about 5 oz) grated pecorino romano
1 lb. elbow macaroni

Directions

Equipment: 3 qt Casserole dish Medium bowl Sm saucepan Med saucepan High Sided skillet Wire whisk Food Processer

You can prepare the cheese in advance

  1. Heat the oven to 375℉ (190℃). Butter a 3 qt casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, heat milk.

3.Melt remaining 6Tbsp butter in a high sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring 1 minute.

  1. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper.

  3. Wait about 5 minutes, THEN SLOWLY add 3 cups cheddar, 1½ cup 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 the manufacturers directions, until outisde of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

  5. Pour the mixture in the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1½ cups cheddar and ½ cup Gruyere or ¼ cup pecorino romano; scatter bread crumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

You can make and freeze half before baking :)

 

* not incl. in nutrient facts

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