These are the things dreams are made of.
Ok, we’ve known each other for a little while now, so I’m just gonna get it out there…. I dream about food. In fact, I may even dream about it every night. All kinds of awesome food, from things I’ve made, to things I’m dying to make! Even my recurring “stress dream” has food in it. I am chewing gum and the gum is getting stuck to my teeth and I spend my entire dream pulling and pulling and pulling. Crazy I know, but I actually googled it because whenever I am stressed I have that SAME dream and apparently other kooky people like me have it too. So maybe I’m not so kooky after all! Oh thank gosh that makes me feel better! Maybe we can start a club! Anyone else on board?
Okay, okay enough about dreams and back to this Crazy Good Mac n’ Cheese!! I will say I have spent a long time trying to perfect a homemade Mac n’ Cheese and this recipe is creamy, cheesy PERFECTION! This is not, and I mean NOT a diet Mac n’ Cheese, but then should Mac n’ Cheese ever really be diet?? Really?? Not in my world! It’s not like it’s something I eat every day, (although I could) so why not go all in? Lots and lots of freshly grated cheddar cheese, milk, a little cream, panko crumbs sprinkled on top…the perfect ingredients for a totally rich and indulgent dish that will have you guarding your plate and going to bed dreaming about it!! Where the heck is Dr. Phil when you need him???
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne red pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 2 cups sharp yellow cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1/2 cup panko Japanese bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill large pot with water and 2 tsp. salt and prepare the macaroni al dente according to directions on package. Set aside.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in milk, cream, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Stirring constantly, continue to cook for 8 minutes until nice and thick. Stir in 3 1/2 cups cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add pasta. Pour into a 2.4 qt. or a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the leftover cheddar cheese and the panko bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and nice and golden browned.