Uptown Get-Down Macaroni and Cheese

Uptown Get-Down Macaroni and Cheese

In a side-by-side tasting, our tasters found this “lovely” with “complex, layers of flavor” and the “butter and tang of Cheddar,” while Kraft Macaroni and Cheese had “one note,” “tastes of chemicals,” and “salt is the dominant flavor.” The recipe takes 45 minutes to prep and 35 minutes to cook.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk, heated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
8 ounces processed American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, stir in flour; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Slowly add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, pepper, hot sauce and 1 cup Parmesan, stirring well to melt cheese. Cover; set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente, 5 minutes. Drain; return macaroni to pot. Toss with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and garlic. Add sauce; toss.

Mix Cheddar with processed cheese.

Place 1/3 of macaroni in a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese. Repeat layers with another 1/3 of each. Top with remaining macaroni and cheese. Mix bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan and seasoning salt together. Sprinkle over top.

Bake until bubbling and top begins to brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Source: from “The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide” by Paula Lambert,
printed in the Miami Herald, Aug 4, 2011