I like my mac and cheese with a light, crunchy topping and a gooey, cheesy center.  I got this recipe from Ina Garten.  She is the queen of all foods decadent and easy so it was obvious that I went to her for this recipe.  Of course, I made a few Christine tweaks like using panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs.  This macaroni and cheese recipe will keep you warm and cozy during these cooler months.  

1 lb. elbow macaroni or a curly pasta
1 quart salted water
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of all purpose flower
3/4 quart whole milk
12 oz. of Gruyere cheese, grated
8 oz. of cheddar cheese, grated
black pepper
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 Tbs. of unsalted butter

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheight.  Bring to boil the salted water.  When it comes to a boil drop in the pasta for 12-13 minutes. Drain the pasta.

In a medium sauce pan, under medium heat, warm the milk until just before simmering.  In the same pot that the pasta was cooked in, melt the stick of butter under medium heat and add the flour.  Cook the flour for 3 minutes.   Slowly whisk in the warm milk.  Season the white sauce with some salt and pepper and the nutmeg.  Taste to liking.  Add the cheese and turn off the heat.  Add the pasta.  Mix and transfer to a large casserole dish.

In a small fry pan melt the 2 Tbs. of butter and add the bread crumbs.  Toss in the butter for a couple minutes then add the bread crumbs to the top of the casserole.  Bake for 30 minutes until it is bubbly. Enjoy!

Try mixing it up by adding bacon, ham, tomatoes, or even lobster to the dish.  Maybe even change up the cheese by adding a blue cheese to the mix.  I made this for Christmas and my dad told me to add some hot dogs to it.  Uhm, maybe next time dad... Anyway, I hope this recipe feeds your soul.

If you have any questions about this or other recipes please email me at  I will gladly answer any questions.  Happy eatings!

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