Classic American Macaroni and Cheese

Servings: 6

Serve with hot sauce and/or celery salt. For a decadent variant, saute fresh mushrooms in butter, add a few drops of il Fustino Truffle oil and blend mushrooms in with the cheese mixture.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices, hearty white sandwich bread – torn into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter – cut into 4 pieces and chilled
  • 5 tablespoons, unsalted butter
  • 1 pound, elbow macaroni – Barilla is best
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons, dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon, cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups, whole milk
  • 8 ounces, Monterey Jack cheese – shredded (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces, sharp cheddar cheese – shredded (2 cups)

DIrections:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. The top of the dish will need to be about 8 inches below the broiler to prevent burning the crumb topping.

Pulse bread and chilled butter in food processor until coarsely ground, 7 to 10 pulses; set aside.

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender. Drain macaroni and set aside in colander.

Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat.

Whisk in flour, mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy
cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses until fully melted.

Add macaroni and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.

Pour mixture into 13 by 9-inch broiler-safe baking dish. Top with bread-crumb mixture and broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating dish if necessary for even browning.

Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.