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Award Winning Macaroni and Cheese

5.00 Mitt(s) 1 Rating(s)1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5

Prep:

Cook:

Level: Easy

System:

10

Description

This recipe won the Houston Chronicle’s Grand Prize, “Best in Show” for their Mac & Cheese recipe contest, March 2010. 100 recipes were submitted – and mine won! It is delicious! Note ~ do not use lowfat or skim milk. You can add chopped ham to make it a main course. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 8 Tablespoons Butter, Unsalted, Divided Use
  • 2 cups Fresh Bread Crumbs, See Note Below
  • ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
  • 16 ounces, weight Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dry Mustard, Dissolved In 2 Teaspoons Water
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Nutmeg (freshly Grated Is Best)
  • 6 Tablespoons Flour, All Purpose
  • 3-½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 can Low Sodium Chicken Broth (14.5 Oz)
  • 1 pound Colby Or Colby Jack Cheese, Shredded
  • 8 ounces, weight Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • Black Pepper, Ground

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter and toss with the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Be sure to add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the cooking water. Drain macaroni and leave in the colander, setting aside.
3. Wipe the pot dry, add the remaining 6 Tablespoons butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, dry mustard, cayenne and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
4. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking continuously. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often about 6 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened.
5. Take off heat and whisk in the Colby and cheddar cheese until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the macaroni, breaking up any clumps, until well combined.
6. Pour into a 13X9″ buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Lightly dust with paprika for color, if desired. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Do not add breadcrumbs until right before baking. Remove from the fridge and allow to sit 1 hour at room temperature before baking.

Bread Crumbs ~ use good quality white bread (Pepperidge Farm Soft Hearty White is best); tear 2 pieces into quarters and pulse in food processor 8 or 9 times for course crumbs. Add butter and parmesan mid way through pulsing.

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Avatar of Buffy

Buffy on 6.25.2013

This macaroni and cheese is AMAZING! I had to try it to believe it. It seemed like way too much nutmeg, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper, but the flavor is just perfect! No more bland, boring mac and cheese for me! I registered with this sight just so I could give my review. Thanks for your great recipe, Hillary! I know why it won first place!

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