"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."What do those words from the Declaration of Independence have to do with macaroni and cheese? Not really that much. They were both created by Thomas Jefferson, who would have been considered one of the greatest Americans in history had he just come up with one of those brilliant ideas, let alone two.
This video recipe shows the basic steps to making classic, old-school macaroni and cheese. The adjustable aspect comes in when you decide how much pasta to boil. Most mac and cheese recipes that use this amount of cheese sauce call for 8-ounces of dry elbow macaroni. This makes for a very rich, cheesy, and gooey casserole that yields about 4 portions.In this version I use the same standard cheese mixture, but boil the whole pound of macaroni. This also produces a lovely, crispy-topped dish of mac and cheese, but yields about 8 portions. This version is very tasty, very cheesy, but certainly not as rich, moist, or gooey. Of course, as I mention in the video, you can use 12-ounces and split the difference.
I know you still may be working on your chocolate lava cake homework, but when you have time try this recipe, and vary the amounts of pasta to find your personal preference.
One thing you won't want to change is the perfect crust technique I use for the topping. The surprisingly small amount of crumbs, covering just the right a mount of cheese, cooked at just the right temperature, will produce crust that even Mr. Jefferson would have been proud of. Enjoy!
1 lb elbow macaroni
3-4 cups of grated sharp Cheddar cheese, or whatever
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs plus 1 tbsp butter
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