'CLASSIC' Macaroni and Cheese

What is more comforting than a dinner (or lunch) of Macaroni and Cheese……served hot from the oven with a side salad.  There are many versions of this recipe but this is a basic, creamy dish that could be prepared the day before serving and then reheated in the oven….what could be better?  You could enhance this with cooked chunks of lobster (‘lobster mac ‘n cheese’) stirring the lobster in before baking or you could top it with bbq pork, etc. but the basic version is really the best!!!!!

4 Servings

8 oz. box elbow macaroni 4 tablespoons butter 4 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for pasta water) 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) 2 cups (8 oz.) grated sharp cheddar 1 1/4 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs 3 T butter (for the breadcrumbs)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Bring a large saucepan with water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and elbow macaroni.  Cook according to package directions, about 8 minutes, until al dente.  Drain in a colander and set aside.

3.  In the same saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Stir in the flour, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and whisk to stir until well blended, making sure to scrape around the insides of the saucepan to incorporate the flour into the mixture. 

4.  When well blended, gradually add the milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly, again scraping around the inside edges of the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and keep at a low boil for a couple of minutes.

5.  On low heat, gradually whisk in the grated cheddar until cheese is melted.

6.  Remove pan from heat and stir in the cooked macaroni.

7.  Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish.

8.  Melt the 3 T butter and then mix in the breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese.

9.  Bake about 30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

You could make and bake this the day before serving.  Then bring to room temperate and bake again at 350 degrees about 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbling…..