Here is another very basic macaroni and cheese recipe that is easy to make and that produces delicious crusty macaroni and cheese.
Recipe makes 8 servings.
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 Tbsp flour
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 24 oz. milk
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 16 oz. cheddar cheese
- Bread crumbs or Panko (see note below) for topping.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water for pasta, and grate your cheese while you are waiting for the water to boil. Cook pasta for seven minutes (one minute less than the usual cooking time).
- While that is cooking, prepare your roux: Over a medium flame, melt butter in saucepan. When melted, whisk in flour, salt and pepper. (You may add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika if desired.) Whisk constantly for a minute. Whisk in about a third of the milk. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan so no flour sticks. The consistency should be very smooth. Add another third of the milk, while whisking constantly. Again, when the consistency is smooth, add the remaining milk. Cook over a medium flame, stirring every now and then. The white sauce is done when you see small bubbles around the edge. Remove from the flame, and add 3/4 of the grated cheddar for your cheese sauce.
- When the pasta is done, drain and pour into the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir to blend. You may add a few drops of Tabasco. At this point, you can also add chopped pimentos, and/or crumbled, cooked bacon if desired.
- Pour the pasta and cheese into a baking pan (see size note below). Sprinkle remaining grated cheese evenly over the top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn on broiler. Sprinkle bread crumbs dotted with butter over the top, or with plain Panko. Brown under the broiler for a minute or two. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.
You can use a glass baking pan without buttering it, as the macaroni and cheese doesn’t stick to the glass surface. I like the larger sized pans so the pasta spreads out thinner. This gives you more of a surface to brown the topping on. If you prefer, use a smaller pan to produce a deep-dish effect.
Definition: [PAHN-koh] Bread crumbs used in Japanese cooking for coating fried foods. They’re coarser than those normally used in the United States, and are made with a little honey. They create a deliciously crunchy crust and brown up very nicely under a broiler.
Panko is sold in Asian markets and in the oriental food section of larger grocery stores.