White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

mac and cheese4

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” –C.S. Lewis

Oh my goodness, I love this recipe!  I have made it with whatever cheese I have available and it still tastes great.  Original recipe source.

Serves approx. 6-8 as a main dish or 10-12 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pasta (she only used 1/2 pound and it seemed like plenty)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. milk
  • 6 c. sharp or white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 T. pepper
  • 2. T. butter
  • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs

Boil your choice of pasta (she used half a pound of generic macaroni) in water salted with a teaspoon or so of salt until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, melt 1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in 1/2 c. flour and whisk together for 2-3 minutes to let it cook.

Add in 1 T. salt and up to 1 T. pepper.  Slowly pour in 4 cups of whole milk whisking as you go until smooth.

Grease a 9×13″ dish with butter and add the cooked pasta to the dish.

Over the top of the pasta sprinkle 6 cups freshly shredded White Cheddar.

Pour the cream sauce over the top of the cheese and pasta and let it sit a couple minutes to begin to melt the cheese.

Then, stir everything together and make the topping.

Topping:

In a small skillet, melt 2 T. butter over medium heat.  Add in 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs.  Stir constantly until golden brown.  Sprinkle over the pasta and cheese.

Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.

 

 

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Tom Jefferson’s Mac and Cheese

I found this recipe from Chef John at http://video.answers.com/how-to-make-tom-jeffersons-mac-and-cheese-213126889.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb elbow macaroni
3-4 cups of grated sharp Cheddar cheese, or whatever
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs plus 1 tbsp butter

Directions:

Melt butter (1/4 cup) in saucepan on medium heat.  When it starts to foam and bubble, add your 1/4 cup flour.  Stir together with butter.  This makes a light colored and light textured roux.  Cook on medium heat about 3-4 minutes to cook out starch.  Add thyme, cayenne and white pepper into the roux.   Some spices and herb come out better in oil so add it now.  Cook for another minute and then pour in 1 cup milk.  Whisk it in really quickly.   Make sure the milk is cold then you won’t have lumps.  Hot roux plus cold milk equals no lumps.  Add two more cups of milk and there’s your basic white sauce.  Bring to simmer on medium heat.  Grate in fresh nutmeg (get a fresh nut of nutmeg for better taste) or use the powered nutmeg.  Add drips of Worcestershire.  Add 1 tsp salt.  Simmer on medium low for about 8 minutes.  Grate cheese.  Use 3 cups of sharp cheddar.  Turn off heat add cheese.  Save 3/4 cup for the top.  Add teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

Cook 8 oz of pasta if you want it creamier.  Use 16 oz for lighter recipe.

Cook and drain pasta.  Dump into casserole dish.  Pour cheese sauce over the top.  Distribute the cheese sauce into the pasta.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of it.  Take 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Asian section of store) and mix it with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.   Put it on top of the cheese.  This makes a really good crust.

Bake at 400.  You don’t need to cook the inside, everything is hot and cooked and you are just browning the top.  Takes about 20 minutes to brown.  Perfectly crisp crust.

Panera’s Stove Top Mac and Cheese

 

 

I found this recipe at smells-like-home.com.  Click here for original recipe source.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz pipette pasta or other small pasta shapes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half
  • 4 oz white American cheese, chopped or torn into pieces
  • 8 oz extra sharp white Vermont cheddar, shredded
  • 2 tsp – 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (adjust according to your tastes)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce (like Frank’s)

Instructions:

  1. In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.
  2. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, whisk in the flour; cook for 1 1/2 minutes whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove sauce pan from the heat and by the handful, stir in the cheeses allowing all of the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding more.  Stir in the mustard, salt, and hot sauce.  Return the sauce pan to the heat and stir in the pasta.  Be sure to stir up the sauce from the bottom of the sauce pan and thoroughly coat all of the pasta with sauce.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through.  Serve hot in bowls with spoons.