macaroni and cheese recipeI am sitting here tonight trying to make my meal plan for the week and write my shopping list, but really all I can think about is this macaroni and cheese.  I don’t eat macaroni and cheese very often, it is not exactly what one would call a “light” dish, but if I am going to eat it, this is the kind that I want.  Rich, creamy, crunchy.  All of the good things that you want going on when you are eating something bad for you.

The thing about macaroni and cheese in my opinion, is that it is either really, really delicious or really, really disappointing.  Sometimes you order macaroni and cheese out and it looks really good, then you take a bite to discover that it is under-seasoned and flat, nothing makes me sadder.  But then other times, it is the most decadent, divine, reason to run an extra mile or two on the treadmill the next day.

So what can you do to guarantee that you are gonna sink your teeth into something delicious?  Use more than one kind of cheese and use a lot of salt and pepper.

Want to make the best macaroni and cheese ever?  Let’s go.

macaroni and cheese recipe2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
1 pound pasta shells (or any kind of noodle that you like)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 cups whole milk
12 ounces of cheese (I used a combination of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago, Fontina, and Parmesan)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the crumb topping:

3/4 cup Panko crumbs
4 Tablespoons melted butter
salt and pepper
chives for garnish

macaroni and cheese recipeCook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain it 2 minutes before it should be done, you want al dente pasta.

macaroni and cheese recipeMelt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and mustard.

macaroni and cheese recipeWhisk together for at least one minute.

macaroni and cheese recipePour in the milk.  Whisk in the milk and let it come to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium to medium low and simmer until the sauce is thickened.  It should coat the back of a spoon, maybe 3 minutes more.

macaroni and cheese recipeRemove the sauce from the heat.

macaroni and cheese recipeWhisk in the cheeses.

macaroni and cheese recipeAdd the Worcestershire sauce and season generously with salt and pepper.

macaroni and cheese recipeAdd the pasta, give it a toss in the cheese sauce and check for seasoning.

macaroni and cheese recipePut the macaroni and cheese in a buttered dish (or in single serving dishes if you would like).

macaroni and cheese recipeAdd the 4 Tablespoons of melted butter to the Panko crumbs and season with salt and pepper.  Toss until the crumbs are coated.

macaroni and cheese recipeSprinkle the crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.

macaroni and cheese recipeBake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

macaroni and cheese recipeGarnish with some chopped chives and serve.

macaroni and cheese recipeIt will totally be worth the run the next morning.  I promise.

Macaroni and Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound pasta shells (or any kind of noodle that you like)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces of cheese (I used a combination of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago, Fontina, and Parmesan)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • For the crumb topping:
  • ¾ cup Panko crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it 2 minutes before it should be done, you want al dente pasta.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and mustard.
  3. Whisk together for at least one minute.
  4. Pour in the milk. Whisk in the milk and let it come to a boil. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium to medium low and simmer until the sauce is thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon, maybe 3 minutes more.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  6. Whisk in the cheeses.
  7. Add the Worcestershire sauce and season generously with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the pasta, give it a toss in the cheese sauce and check for seasoning.
  9. Put the macaroni and cheese in a buttered dish (or in single serving dishes if you would like).
  10. Add the 4 Tablespoons of melted butter to the Panko crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Toss until the crumbs are coated.
  11. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.
  12. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
  13. Garnish with some chopped chives and serve.
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