Ah, there’s nothing quite like the warm embrace of a homemade Mac and cheese dish! Every time I make it, it fills my heart with love and my kitchen with the most mouthwatering scents. I mean, who can resist that gooey, cheesy goodness, right?
Well, to begin, I gather up all of my ingredients: elbow macaroni, butter, flour, milk, heavy cream, and of course, an assortment of delightful cheeses. It’s always a hoot to play around with different cheese combinations, but for me, the tried-and-true combo of sharp cheddar and creamy Gruyère never fails to hit the mark.
Next, I get cracking on the bechamel sauce. You’ve gotta be on point when making this bad boy, as the key to a perfectly creamy Mac and cheese is a smooth, velvety sauce. So, I melt the butter, whisk in the flour, and slowly start adding the milk and cream, all while keeping a watchful eye on the heat. Can’t have the dang sauce burning, y’know?
Now, let’s talk cheese. You might think I’m all fancy-schmancy with my Gruyère, but trust me, it makes a world of difference! Once the sauce is thick and smooth, I add in the grated cheeses in all their glory. Then, the pièce de résistance, I fold in the cooked macaroni, getting my hands dirty and making sure each little noodle is coated with that scrumptious sauce.
At this point, it’s practically begging to be tasted—greedy spoonful, anyone? But wait! There’s one last touch I love to add – a crispy, buttery breadcrumb topping. Sprinkling that bad boy over the whole shebang takes the dish to the next level. Then, off it goes into the oven for some bubbly, golden magic.
I tell ya, every single time I serve up this comforting classic, it brings my family and friends together over a shared love of great food. And truly, that’s what cooking is all about, isn’t it?
- 8 oz elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour; cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream, stirring frequently to avoid lumps.
- Continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.
- Remove saucepan from heat.
- Stir in shredded cheddar and Gruyère cheeses until melted and smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper, adjusting to taste.
- Fold cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, ensuring each noodle is evenly coated.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and melted butter.
- Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumb topping is golden and the sauce is bubbly.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
That was fresh!