CLASSIC AMERICAN MACARONI AND CHEESE
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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.
- 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
- 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)
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.