Let’s face it: when mac meets cheese, it’s looovvee! Homemade Macaroni & Cheese is one of those classic comfort foods we shouldn’t eat, but love to eat regardless of how unhealthy it may be.
I’ve tried many recipes/versions of Homemade Macaroni & Cheese, but this recipe from Fannie Farmer is one that I use often when cravings hit. The minute you take this dish out of the oven, you’ll see the hot cheese bubbling, but trust me, you won’t care because you won’t have the patience to wait another second to taste it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned my mouth and tongue, but it’s completely worth it. Every. Time.
One of the key things about this recipe is that it starts with a roux, and we’re well aware that ALL good things start with a roux. It’s not difficult to make at all, but it does take some time to master this dish thickener. The secret is patience and true dedication (to stir constantly).
The original recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but I used a mix of gruyère and “really good quality” extra sharp cheddar cheese. Having made this recipe many times, I have to admit that it’s pretty special. Guys, it’s so cheeeeessyyy, creamy, silky, and so comforting that you just want to eat it all to yourself. It will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. It will remind you of the time when your mom used to make it for you, and you would eat it endlessly for days without gaining any weight. Ahhh, those were the days.
If you really wanted to, you could put broccoli or spinach to provide (much needed) nutrition to this dish. On the other hand, you could also add some lobster or bacon. If you have kiddos—or me as a dinner guest—hot dogs would be perfect in this dish.
This dish is totally sinful and definitely bad for you, but honestly, who cares. Seriously, just make it now. It’s okay—we’ll do it together. I’m here for you!
- 1 (8 oz) package macaroni elbows
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (really good quality)
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs, buttered
- Cook macaroni elbows according to package directions and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Whisk flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour mixture and whisk until well blended.
- Pour milk and cream in slowly, while whisking constantly. Then, bring to a boiling point and boil for 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes; whisking constantly.
- Add your shredded cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes or until all the cheese melts.
- Turn off heat. Add macaroni elbows to cheese mixture and mix, making sure each macaroni elbow is coated in cheese.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, and top with breadcrumbs.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes (or when the top is golden brown).