Who doesn’t love mac & cheese? Ok, there are probably a few of you out there. There’s something wrong with you, but don’t worry. It can be treated with this recipe.
This recipe makes a huge mac & cheese casserole, but it is very easy to cut in half. Another choice is to make the whole thing, divide it into two pans, and wrap and freeze one. I usually give the second pan to my son Joe.
This weekend though, I am going to a party my friend Robin is having to celebrate 25 years in business at her hair salon, Creative Clippers. I said I’d bring the mac & cheese, so I’m bringing one huge honking pan of it. Yum yum!
Ok: In a large pot, bring 2 quarts salted water to the boil. Add 1-1/2 pounds elbow macaroni (or any small pasta) and cook til almost al dente. Drain it, but don’t rinse it.
Put the pot back on the stove over medium heat. Melt 1 stick of butter. When melted, sprinkle 8T flour (I like Wondra best for sauces and gravies) over surface of butter. Sprinkle in 1t Kosher salt, 1t black pepper, and 1/2t cayenne pepper. Whisk well to combine. Whisk and cook another full minute. Two minutes if using regular flour. Now, slow and steady here, whisking constantly, pour in 4C whole milk. Whisk and cook until it comes to the boil and thickens. Turn down the heat, whisk and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
With a big wooden spoon, stir in 2C Colby Jack cheese and 2C sharp cheddar cheese. Beat well until all that cheese is melted and fully incorporated.
Now for some magic: add the drained macaroni back to the pot, mix and stir, stir and mix, til all that mac is coated with all that cheese sauce.
Now, I happen to have a huge, deep, 9 x 13 casserole dish (courtesy of Henn Pottery). If you don’t have something that big, buy a foil pan. Spray the dish with cooking spray, and scrape every bit of that mac & cheese into it. Use a rubber spatula… you don’t want to miss any!
Ready for more magic? Ok. Melt 1 stick butter. Stir in 1C crushed cornflake crumbs, 1/2C Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir well. Spread this mixture evenly over the surface of the mac & cheese. Even you doubters…. admit your mouth is watering!
Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 min, til browned and hot and bubbly.
This, if I do say so myself, is fabulous mac & cheese. My girl Jessica adores this recipe. Sorry Joe, the next half pan goes to her!
See you Saturday Robin! This will be a crowd pleaser!