3 slices hearty white sandwich, bread torn into pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 of it melted
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 (12 ounces each) cans evaporated milk (I used the fat free kind.)
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha.)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/4 cups American cheese, shredded (I used 7 slices of Kraft singles.)
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350*F. Pulse bread, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese in food processor until ground to coarse crumbs. Transfer to bowl.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and macaroni to boiling water and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup macaroni cooking water, then drain and rinse macaroni in colander under cold running water. Set aside.
3. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture turns lightly brown, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in evaporated milk, hot sauce, nutmeg, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until mixture begins to simmer and is slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and reserved cooking water until cheese melts. Stir in macaroni until completely coated.
4. Transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top evenly with bread crumb mixture. Bake until cheese is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe is from the 2007 Cook's Country Annual and it yet another attempt at finding the best macaroni and cheese recipe out there. This definitely won on the creaminess factor! The cheeses blended together well and the flavors were very nice. While the topping was nice it wasn’t quite as crunchy as I would have liked. I think I should have processed the bread crumbs a bit less and that would have given me a bit crunchier of a topping? Something to try next time. The hot sauce added just a tidge of heat.
Shown here with Pepper-Crusted Pork Loin.