Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Crumb Topping
- 1 pound (500 g) elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus some for greasing the pan
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk, heated to simmering
- 1/2 pound (250 g) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 pound (250 g) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Hot pepper sauce, to taste
- 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish (preferably glass). Boil the macaroni in a pot 3/4 full of salted water. Cook about six minutes; when it comes out it should still be al dente (sort of stiff). Drain. Put 4 tablespoons of your butter into the hot pot while noodles are in the strainer, and melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then drop the heat to low. Let bubble, whisk but don't brown, about two minutes. Now it's time to add the hot milk; make sure you simmered it first! Add it in gradually and heat the pot to medium heat; let it boil before removing. Add the cheese, stir it until it's melted, and put the noodles back in. Stir them in. Season with salt and pepper, and hot sauce to your liking. Melt the last two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Spread the macaroni in the buttered glass dish, sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs, and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake about 40 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the top browns. Mushrooms can be added to this dish if desired!
Yield: 1 large 2 1/2-quart dish.
Source: Williams-Sonoma, American
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