You know how everyone has a couple of signature recipes? This is one of mine. The first time I made it, I made it again the next night, and the one after that. I brought it to a potluck, got some feedback, fiddled with the recipe a bit, and tried it again. Really, it’s that good. It could probably be paired well with a salad or something green like that, but honestly, I just eat it with Sriracha…. and maybe some coconut water to cut the fat.
It looks like it’d be a lot of food when you put it into the oven, but between my boyfriend and I, we usually finish about 2/3rds in one sitting with some left over for lunch the next day. If there are no hungry boys involved, it might make it to a few separate meals. If you’re planning on this, instead of baking it immediately, I’d suggest splitting the macaroni and cheese mixture into a couple of oven safe glass containers like these TrueSeal Food Storage squares (love these things!). Pop them in the fridge and pull one out when you’re ready to eat it. That’s when you finish the recipe by sprinkling with breadcrumbs and baking. It’s one of those foods that’s way better hot from the oven.
- 8 ounces of macaroni (typcally a bag or a half bag)
- 4 tbs butter
- 4 tbs flour
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups reduced or low fat milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar
- 2/3 cups bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop from cooking further.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the butter. Melt the butter, stirring it so it doesn’t brown. Once completed melted, add the flour, salt, and pepper. Mix with the butter until it is a smooth consistency.
Gradually add milk and heavy whipping cream into the saucepan, stirring constantly, over the course of around five minutes. While stirring, bring the mixture to a boiling point – this can be checked by pausing the stirring to see if the mixture is lightly bubbling. Then, boil for two minutes while still stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for ten minutes, yes, still stirring constantly. Then add gradually add the shredded cheese, mixing and waiting for it to melt before adding more. Once the cheese has completely melted, turn off the flame.
Pour the cooked macaroni into the saucepan with the cheese mixture and stir to completely coat the macaroni and get an even blend. Then, pour the macaroni and cheese into a 9×11 buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Then, for an extra tasty touch, I like to pop it into the broiler for just a couple of minutes to darken it even more and get a nice, crunchy top!
– Based on the classic Fannie Farmer’s mac and cheese recipe