Originally posted: Feb 2011; updated April 2014
After attempting mac and cheese from scratch with a friend with some success, I was motivated to make it on my own – better. The first time I tried it on my own, the sauce turned out too grainy. This time round I didn’t skimp with the cheese and also made sure my ingredients were all on hand so I didn’t have to scramble for them. I used PW’s recipe but also added a few elements of Alton Brown’s recipe – the diced onion, bay leaf and crunchy Panko breadcrumbs top.
Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups Dried Macaroni
- 1 whole Egg Beaten
- 1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
- 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
- 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
- 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
- 1 pound Cheese, Grated
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
- In a small bowl, beat egg.
- In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
- Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Add onion and bay leaf. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
- Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
- Add in cheese and stir to melt.
- Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
- Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese and/or panko breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.