Classic Macaroni and Cheese

This rich and creamy macaroni and cheese is the perfect comfort food! I can’t tell you how many times when I was a child when I had eaten macaroni and cheese out of the blue box. I thought it was perfect! I would be snuggled under a big blanket with my bowl of macaroni and cheese watching cartoons for hours it seemed! Those were good times and there is just something about this dish that always brings me back to my childhood. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to try to make my own-and I am sure glad I did! Baked with two types of cheese and topped with toasted bread crumbs making it so delicious you won’t ever go back to the blue box brand again! If you are looking for a fast, easy and delicious side dish to serve on your Thanksgiving dinner table, look no further, this is it! :)

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Rich and creamy homemade macaroni and cheese.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8, or 10 to 12 as a side

Ingredients:

For the Bread Crumb Topping:
6 slices white sandwich bread (or plain bread crumbs about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces

For the Pasta and Cheese:
1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups whole milk
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon table salt

Directions:

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.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside.
In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne 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. Take off of heat and whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until 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 X 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.

Recipe Note: The recipe can be halved and baked in an 8-inch-square, broiler safe baking dish.

Source: adapted from The Best New Recipe