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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese

Although I ate Kraft macaroni and cheese as a child, now I prefer the homemade version. Michael says this recipe has ruined him for any other mac & cheese and I have to agree. Most of the time I use the medium cheddar that I have on hand, and last time we even used some pepper jack. So far we haven't had a bad cheese combination.


Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Cook's Illustrated

6 slices white sandwich bread (good-quality, about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces
3 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 T table salt
5 T unsalted butter
6 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teas powdered mustard
1/4 teas cayenne pepper (optional)
5 c whole milk (you can use 2 % or skim)
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teas table 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. 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 pasta and set aside in colander.

In now-empty Dutch oven, 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 bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.

a satisfied customer

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