Mac & Cheese
You can't make everyone happy - you're not cheese
1.5 Hours ·
- 500g elbow noodles
- 125g yellow cheddar
- 125g Gruyère
- 125g cheese of choice (white cheddar, pepper jack, gouda, ...)
- 1 ball mozzarella
- 1L 2+% milk
- 3 + 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard
Boil the noodles in salted water, then drain and set aside.
Grate all the cheese except the mozzarella into a large bowl and set aside.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium heat. Make sure the milk is easily reachable and sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk in. Whisk for a few seconds until the flour and butter have combined to a silky mass. Add about 50ml (1/4 cup) of milk and whisk continually as it heats up. Once it's reached a uniform consistency, add another 50ml of milk, whisk and repeat until you have a creamy sauce. Stir in the spices and mustard.
Stir in a handful of cheese at a time, allowing it to full melt before adding the next handful. Make sure the sauce doesn't get too thick - it will thicken quite a bit in the oven. Add more milk as needed to get the desired consistency.
Once all the cheese is completely melted, stir in the noodles. At this point you should be convinced you made waaay too much sauce but that's OK...the noodles will steal more than you think. Pour it all out into a suitably sized baking dish, but not at the edge of the countertop where spilled sauce will drip into the drawers...that takes a long time to clean up.
Melt about 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a pan and add enough breadcrumbs to lightly coat the top of the baking dish. Keep stiring them until they're slightly browned. If you want, add a bit of garlic powder, paprika and oregano to spice things up.
Crush the ball of mozzarella in your hands and spread chunks of it across the top of the mac and cheese, then coat lightly with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 375°F until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges (about 20 minutes).