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    Our Favorite Mac and Cheese

    Source of Recipe

    Epicurious, October 2014

    Recipe Introduction

    "This easy baked macaroni and cheese recipe is the result of combining our favorite elements from several top-rated mac and cheese recipes in our archives. Over the course of our testing, we found that the best mac mixes extra-sharp cheddar cheese with Parmesan. However, you should feel free to sub in pretty much any cheese you like: Swap some or all of the cheddar for Gouda or Gruyère to give your version a more robust flavor; or use something milder (like mozzarella or Fontina) if you prefer your comfort food more plain. What’s important is that you grate it yourself instead of buying pre-shredded cheeses, which often contain anti-clumping agents that keep them from melting properly. For really creamy homemade mac and cheese, you have to start by making a béchamel: Whisk milk and cream into a mixture of melted butter and flour in a large pot on the stovetop, then add in the cheese bit by bit. We call for white pepper since it’s a little more earthy than black pepper, and won’t mar the look of the sauce, but feel free to use the latter if that’s what you have on hand. Similarly, if you crave a little extra savoriness or heat with your mac, now’s the time to add a few dashes of hot sauce or a smidge of garlic or onion powder (about ½ tsp. of either). Next, toss in the cooked macaroni, transfer to a baking dish, gild the top with crispy, crunchy, garlicky breadcrumbs mixed with more Parmesan cheese, and bake. For the best texture (and to prevent burning tongues!), let it sit for a few minutes before serving."

    Recipe Link:

    List of Ingredients

    For the topping:
    ◦ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
    ◦ 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    ◦ 2 cups panko
    ◦ 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
    ◦ 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan (about ½ cup)
    ◦ ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    For the macaroni and cheese:
    ◦ 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
    ◦ 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
    ◦ ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    ◦ 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ◦ 4 cups whole milk
    ◦ ¾ cup heavy cream
    ◦ ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
    ◦ 1 ½ tablespoons mustard powder
    ◦ 16 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (about 6 cups)
    ◦ 2 ounces grated Parmesan (about ½ cup)


    Preheat oven to 400° F with rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

    Make the topping: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until butter foam subsides. Add panko and garlic; cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, stir in Parmesan and salt, and set aside.

    Prepare the macaroni and sauce: Set a large, covered pot of salted water over high heat to boil. Add macaroni and cook until just al dente (avoid overcooking). Drain macaroni and set aside.

    In a large wide pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle flour over butter, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until roux is light golden, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and make a béchamel sauce. Raise heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes more.

    Add 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Add the cheeses in three batches, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat. Add the drained macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir well to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the buttered baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

    Serves 12




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