Friday, April 16, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

I first made this Macaroni and Cheese for a Super Bowl party. It is almost as easy as the blue box variety, even though C would question why one would go to the effort of homemade when there are blue boxes in the pantry. This opinion comes from a man who enjoys Hamburger Helper, so I take what he says with a grain of salt. C did enjoy it, proclaimed it no better or worse than the blue box, just "different". I'll take it!
Macaroni and Cheese
printable recipe

For topping:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar

For macaroni and sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 2/3 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar
3/4 pound macaroni

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter, then stir together with bread crumbs and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Melt remaining butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Remove from heat.

Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Stir together macaroni and sauce in a large bowl, adding the pasta cooking water as necessary to thin the cheese sauce to desired consistency. Transfer to a buttered 1 ½ -quart baking dish.

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.
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