Best Mac and Cheese Ever
- Cooking Time: 30-40 Minutes
- Servings: 6-8
- Preparation Time: 60 Minutes
- 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.