Everybody loves, loves mac and cheese! Children love it....even if it is out of a box!
Adults love it.....mmmmm.....with goat cheese, a stilton, so very gourmet!
I have made it (from scratch) many, many times! I have made it from every famous chef
Each time I had great expectations........and they all fell short!
Something that should be so simplistic.....creating so many pitfalls and problems!
One recipe may be nice and cheesey but not saucey enough.....or the reverse!
I remember when this was the most economical dish.....cheese was not expensive back
in the day (!).....of course, we were not using imported, gourmet cheeses back then either!
Anyway, I determined that for my own personal taste I liked my mac and cheese to be quite
saucey with a lovely cheesey taste.
Every time I would see a recipe for mac and cheese, I would make it....following the recipe to
the letter.....and always was left "wanting"......
Then I found (recently) this recipe on the internet by the chunky chef........I did make some
changes/additions but I think I finally found the "one"........please try it and let me know if you
like it as much as I did!!!
Mac and Cheese
1 lb. dried elbow pasta
1/2 c. butter - either salted or unsalted
1/2 c. all purpose flour (or Wondra)
1-1/2 c. whole milk and 2-1/2 c. half and half (I used ALL whole milk)
4 c. grated medium sharp cheddar cheese, divided and
2 c. grated Gruyere cheese, divided ( I used 4-1/2 c. cheddar + 1-1/2 c. Pepper Jack for top)
1/2 T. salt (or less, depending on the cheeses you are using as they have a lot of sodium
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. paprika
1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 3 qt. baking dish with butter. Set aside.
2. Bring large pot water to the boil. Once boiling, add 2 T. kosher salt, dried pasta and cook as
per directions for pasta. Drain well.
3. While waiting for water to boil, grate cheeses, mix, if not using separate cheeses, and divide into bowls: 3 c. for sauce, 1-1/2 c. for middle layer and 1-1/2 c. for topping.
4. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat and sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine,
stirring for about 2 minutes to "cook" the flour. Slowing pour in 2 c. milk, whisking constantly,
til smooth. Slowly pour in remaining 2 c. milk (half and half), again whisking constantly til smooth.
Stir in salt and pepper and cheeses, stirring til smooth.
5. In large bowl, combine pasta and cheese sauce.
6. In buttered baking dish, add half the sauced pasta. Top with 1-1/2 c. grated cheese. Add remaining sauced pasta and top with 1-1/2 c. grated cheese.
7. Bake for 20-30 minutes til bubbly, melted and golden brown.....and yummy looking!
( can be made prior....BUT....take out one hour prior to baking....sauces tend to "seize" when
chilled.....let it come almost to room temperature before baking!)