Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Macaroni & Cheese

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1pound(s) elbow pasta
4tablespoon(s) butter
1small onion, chopped
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4cup(s) milk
teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/4cup(s) (5 ounces) shredded yellow cheddar cheese
1 1/4cup(s) (5 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
8ounce(s) ham, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2slice(s) white sandwich bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain and reserve. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.

Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or individual dishes. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining 1/4 cup each white and yellow cheddar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.
Note: This recipe makes enough to fill eight 12-to-16-ounce baking dishes. Divide the macaroni and cheese evenly, sprinkle with topping, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden

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