Classic Mac & Cheese

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Is there anything better than creamy, full-fat, indulgent Macaroni & Cheese? No? I didn't think so.

Frankly, "real" Mac & Cheese is something I avoid making due to its insanely high calorie count. I usually get my jollies from a Cooking Light Chipotle Mac recipe. And while that's great, grand, and wonderful, there is an unparalleled level of joy that extra-sharp cheddar in a creamy, mustard sauce brings me.

I'd also like to throw this out there for your consideration: It's too damn cold to not eat fatty food. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Classic Mac & Cheese (from the incomparable Reeni, who got it from Betty Crocker)
-8 ounces uncooked Elbow Pasta
-1/4 cup Butter + 1 tablespoon
-1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
-3/4 teaspoon Sea or Kosher Salt
-1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
-1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
-1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
-1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (**I used stone ground mustard...it was awesome.**)
-2 1/2 cups Milk
-3 cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 1/2 cup set aside for topping (12 ounces)
-1/3 cup Cornflake crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart or 8x8-inch casserole pan.

2. Cook and drain elbows to al dente according to package directions. Pour into casserole pan and toss with a tablespoon of butter.

3. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat; whisk in flour, salt, pepper, both mustards, and Worcestershire. Cook over low heat, whisking
constantly until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Slowly whisk in milk and heat to boiling whisking continuously. Boil for one minute and stir in cheese. Stir
until all the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

4. Pour evenly over the top of the elbows. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese set aside, and then with the crumbs.

5. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden.

-Serve 4-6

Verdict: THIS is a Mac & Cheese recipe. It's what I want, but usually don't find, in restaurants. It's got a super creamy, luxuriously velveteen sauce, which has a nice-yet-understated flavor. I don't see a reason to experiment with other 'classic' Mac & Cheese recipes, because this has everything you could want in a traditional dish. Make your nagging conscience feel better, and toss some green veggies on the side.

9 comments:

d.n.williamson said...

Heather-This does look delicious, but I don't know if I can part with my favorite:

http://nicoleiskeepingitsimple.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-mac-and-cheese-ever.html

Want to make a deal? I'll try yours if you try mine?

N

Victoria said...

Oh there's nothing better than the classics. Mac and cheese gets me every time, and this definitely is a classic version. Love it!

Peggy said...

I love classic mac and cheese! This is definitely winter comfort food and should be enjoyed during the season! Of course, in moderation =)

My Man's Belly said...

This is definitely the time of year for a steaming bowl of homemade mac and cheese. Then again, I could eat the stuff pretty much any time.

Belinda @zomppa said...

I'll take it. I'll take the whole lot!

Susan said...

If you asked my kids, they would say that a 'classic mac and cheese' came from a blue box, but the 'best mac and cheese' came from a 'scratch recipe' like this one! Yours is for more 'sophisticated palates' ... ;-)! Ahhhh, comfort food!

mywanderingspoon said...

Nicely done...who can resist mac and cheese....thanks for sharing:)
http://mywanderingspoon.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/cappuccino-biscotti-with-almonds-and-chocolate-midweek-breakfast-that-we-all-need/

Ang said...

Ha! you crack me up. Your so right though. When it's all cold and chilly, who wants to eat salads all day. Although I'm trying to eat better for my healths sake, I could still go for some full fat Mac and cheese.

Reeni said...

I love this mac 'n' cheese! So glad you tried it! And thanks for the sweet comment!

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