classic mac and cheese.

because it's Friiiiday (YAY!), and I've got a ton of things on my plate today, how about I share a recipe with you?  sound good?  yes?  sweet, I'm glad you're all so agreeable!

I made this last Sunday for dinner and it was absolutely scrumdelicious!   is that even a word?  anyway, I'm pretty sure I heard a few grandmas going "tsk, tsk, mac and cheese?  where's the roast and potatoes, child?"  well, consider this the modern day Sunday meal.  heh.    

I admit I was a little skeptical when the recipe said to boil the pasta for only 5 minutes.  5 minutes, huh?  but, during the baking, the overabundance of cheese sauce soaks into the pasta, finishing it to just the right texture.  Mmm-mmm.  added bonus: the kiddos gobbled it up.

*note: if you're not crazy about that sharp cheddar flavor, try either medium or mild.

here's the recipe:

Classic Mac and Cheese

Yield: 8-10 servings
For the bread crumb topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and pepper

For the pasta:
1 lb. pasta shapes
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
3½ cups milk
1 lb. colby jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Ground black pepper

To make the bread crumb topping, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add in the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are a light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta to the water and cook just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Drain the pasta and leave in the colander.

Return the pot to the heat.  Melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne, cooking just until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheeses, whisking until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce.

Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb topping.*  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown.  (You may want to place a baking sheet on the rack underneath the baking dish to catch any sauce that bubbles over.)

*At this point, the dish can be wrapped tightly with foil and refrigerated for up to 2 days.  To serve, bake covered at 400˚ F until the filling is hot throughout, about 40-45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the breadcrumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes more.

have a great weekend!



Crystal Lee Photography said...

Yum, I've gotta try that!

mom of many said...

I just saw this recipe some where! Now I will have to try it. Just printed out the recipe to have on hand. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

looks delicious! ah, now im at my desk at 10:00AM hungry for lunch already! :( LOL ;)

Linda said...

Looks scrumptious! I am going to try it too...I have never really found a homemade mac and cheese that is really good. The kids don't even usually like it!

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds devine. I will have to try it. I have tried a few homemade mac and cheese recipes here and there but my kids always want the stuff out of the box. So annoying!!! Just maybe if I make this enough they will learn to like it. LynetteG

Kara said...

This was the best mac and cheese I've made. I loved it along with a few of my picky eaters!