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Be-All End-All Mac and Cheese

I love me some mac and cheese. Most mac and cheese doesn’t pass muster with me, and this recipe might have something to do with that. I tweaked a few different recipes and experimented until I settled on this tasty concoction.

Be-All, End-All Mac and Cheese

Course: Main Course
Keyword: cheese, mac and cheese, pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 30 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 c milk
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t dry mustard optional
  • hot sauce a few shakes, i prefer Crystal
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese shredded (I usually use a mix of sharp white and medium cheddar; Tillamook is my preferred brand)
  • 16 oz pasta cooked al dente and drained (being a traditionalist, I use large elbow macaroni)

Optional Topping

  • T butter melted
  • 3 T panko bread crumbs

Optional Add-ins

  • cubed ham
  • crumbled bacon
  • slices of smoked sausage/kielbasa
  • corn (stay with me here; it's amazing)

Instructions

  • Preeat oven to 350.
  • Melt 3 T. butter in saucepan over low heat (I usually cook mine in a Le Creuset dutch oven-like pot so it's a one-pot meal).
  • Blend in flour and salt; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Slowly add milk and then pepper, dry mustard, and hot sauce; whisk/stir constantly until thickened.
  • Add shredded cheese (reserve 1/2 c. or so for topping) and stir until cheese is melted.
  • Mix pasta and cheese sauce in 2 qt.casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  • For topping: mix melted butter with bread crumbs and sprinkle on the top.
  • Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.