Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? From the time we were children until today, most of us love this comfort food. Macaroni and cheese is more than just food. There is an emotional connection between this dish and family memories. For many of us, this is the first food we learned to cook, even if it was in the microwave! My cousin Whitney Malott developed this recipe. It is a warm dish of heaven!
Whitney’s Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni noodles or spiral noodles
4 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups 2% milk
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup panko
¼ cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. While pasta is cooking make cheese sauce. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk. Cook flour and butter together for 3 minutes stirring constantly. (Cook roux long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste but not long enough to turn tan or brown… If it turns brown, throw it out and start over unless you want a brown cheese sauce!)
Add 3 cups milk and Increase heat to medium. Stir milk into the butter/flour mixture with a wire whisk, making sure to get all the flour off the bottom of the saucepan and incorporated into the milk. Continue stirring until the mixture gets thick and bubbles. Add 3 cups shredded cheese. Stir until melted. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Stir cheese sauce into drained pasta until thoroughly combined. Pour into a non-stick sprayed 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Mix panko and butter together and sprinkle over the top. Bake 30 Minutes. Let set 10 minutes before serving. Yummy in the tummy!
Published in The News and Neighbor on November 23, 2016.