Sunday Supper {Macaroni and Cheese}

I’ve made this decadent macaroni and cheese as a go-to summer bbq side so many times this summer.  I feel like I’ve been looking for a good “keeper” mac and cheese for a looooong time and can finally look no further.

Keeper Macaroni & Cheese
based on a recipe by Ina Garten

1 tsp salt
1 pound elbow cavatappi pasta
1 quart whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere, grated
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 slices white bread

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk in a large measuring cup or bowl the microwave until warm, but not boiling or bubbling.
  • Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.
  • Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
  • In the food processor (I also use it to grate my cheese from the block and don’t bother washing in between), pulse the bread slices to turn into bread crumbs.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Combine with the fresh bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the macaroni.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Notes:

  • I buy a block of gruyere based on how much I feel like spending on that expensive of a cheese.  I substitute swiss cheese to make up the difference and get me to the 12-ounces.  I’ve never done straight gruyere.
  • To make this ahead, I go all the way through the step where you combine the cheese and macaroni and pour into my dish.  I then make my breadcrumbs and store them in a zip top bag.  Before cooking, I mix the breadcrumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top.  It takes a few minutes longer to cook since it is starting cold.
  • I always grate my own cheese because I feel like it melts better.

I hope y’all are having a wonderful long weekend.  The weather here in Atlanta has been absolutely gorgeous and we’ve had the porch doors open all day long.

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8 thoughts on “Sunday Supper {Macaroni and Cheese}

  1. Whenever I prepare a make ahead item such as a breakfast casserole, or this Mac n cheese, I put the cold pan into a cold oven, then set the temperature, so they can both warm up together.

  2. Try substituting smoked Gouda or smoked Gouda pimiento cheese for the gruyere. It’s amazing. You are right about grating your own cheese. Pre-shredded has an additive to keep it from sticking together, and it inhibits the cheese from melting properly.

  3. I have a question for you. For my honey’s fall birthday, I’m doing a Halloween theme and I just purchased a skull cake pan. I plan on making individual servings of macaroni and cheese with the pan but I need a recipe that is more on the firm side that can holds it shape (not runny at all). Do you think this will work well. It looks yummy!

    Attached is a link showing the pan.

    Thanks

    https://www.google.com/search?q=skull+head+pan+at+williams+sanoma&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=ej4SwyHWrG_kRM:

    1. That sounds SO cute. It definitely is a thicker mac and cheese but I’m not sure you’d be able to see the detail. Hmmmm…. I did make mini meatloafs one time in a shaped pan. Not sure if that sounds appetizing or not :-)

      1. Thank you. I’m gonna give your mac and cheese a try. One of the William Sanoma reps held a cooking class for kids and told me she put a little melted butter in the pan, put breadcrumbs down before she put the mac and cheese in and it made a more uniform face. I hope it turns out. At any rate, it should taste good. Thanks for sharing.

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