Best Mac and Cheese Ever
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more to butter the dish
6 slices bread (crust removed) torn into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/4 (18 oz.) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (8oz.) grated Gruyere cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tbls. of butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk. Melt remaining 6 tbls. butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere. Set cheese sauce aside.
Cook macaroni 2-3 minutes less than package directions. Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into reserved cheese sauce.
Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 Gruyere, and breadcrumbs over top.
Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Pairs Well With
My friend Tami Sutyak knows how to make a really good Mac and Cheese. I'm sure you can add stuff if you like (like people like the idea of procuitto). But this is AMAZING.