This is our favorite mac and cheese. But we learned along the way that we didn't like it baked - it dried it out too much. Here's the basic recipe. We have tried many different cheese combinations but the simple cheeses are still the best. We quit using any smoked cheese because it overpowered too much, and when you want mac and cheese you just want it the "old" way!
Classic Mac & Cheese
Serves 4 to 6
8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 c. milk (2% or whole milk, not non-fat)
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 c. (4 oz.) sharp Cheddar, shredded
3/4 c. (3 oz.) Jack cheese
3/4 c. (3 oz.) Gruyere or Swiss cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
~ Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water, until al
~ While macaroni is cooking, heat milk in a saucepan
over low heat. Stir occasionally, and do not let it
~ In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
~ When butter is melted, stir in flour to make a roux.
Cook, whisking constantly for 3 minutes.
~ Add milk to roux in a stream, whisking all the while.
~ Cook milk sauce, whisking, until slightly thickened.
Do not let the sauce boil.
~ Add the cheeses to sauce. Stir cheese into sauce until thoroughly combined and melted.
~ Stir macaroni into sauce. Season with salt and pepper
You CAN, if you want, transfer it to a casserole dish, top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes.
If baked a lot of the creaminess is gone so we eat as is.
~ Different cheese combinations - could use American,
mozzarella, Muenster, Gorgonzola, Romano, provolone,
asiago, Velveeta, smoked Gouda... we've tried them all and come back to sharp or just plain cheddar, Jack or Mozzarella, and some Gruyere.
"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy