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
- 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)
- T butter melted
- 3 T panko bread crumbs
- cubed ham
- crumbled bacon
- slices of smoked sausage/kielbasa
- corn (stay with me here; it's amazing)
- 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.