Best served with meatloaf. Its also a great way to use up odds and ends of cheeses that aren’t at their freshest anymore but you can’t bear to throw away something you spent $22.99/lb on. Or just plain old cheddar works too.
Macaroni & Cheese
1 lb box of pasta (elbows, twists, twirls, shells, bow ties, tennis racquets, whatever)
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon butter (clarified, if you have it, otherwise, whole butter is fine)
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, swiss, gruyere, parmesan, fancy cheeses, or a mix)
1 T dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 cup seasoned breadcumbs
Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. The water should be as salty as the ocean. On a second burner, heat up the milk in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a 6 quart saucepan, make a blonde roux. To do this, get the pot hot, then add the clarified butter. Add the flour and whisk in so that their aren’t any lumps. When the roux just starts to darken and smells like buttered popcorn, add the milk. Whisk together and bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off heat, add the cheese and whisk gently until most of the cheese is melted. Its okay if there are some small lumps remaining. If you are using the mustard, add that too.
Butter a casserole dish and when the pasta is about two-thirds done (gives when you bite it but not quite al dente) drain the pasta and pour it into the casserole. Pour the cheese sauce (classically called Sauce Mornay) over the pasta and sprinkle the top with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the top has crisped.