Jonathan's Favorite's...Classic Macaroni and Cheese

This week dinner time has been all about Jonathan's favorites. Last night it was "Macaroni and Cheese". It was quite yummy so I thought I would share. The recipe has been adapted from "The America's Test Kitchen, Live 2005" Cookbook. Jerry and I like it with stewed tomatoes and Jonathan does not. Hence the two pans.

Bon Appetite!
Classic Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from "The America's Test Kitchen, Live 2005" Cookbook

Bread Crumb Topping
6 slices bread I usually use whole grain bread
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Pasta and Cheese
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
7 TBSP unsalted butter
I large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) monterey jack cheese (or fontina or swiss cheese)
*2 14 oz cans of stewed tomatoes

1. For the Bread Crumbs : Pulse the bread and butter in a food processor until the crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, ten to fifteen 1 - second pulses.

2. For the Pasta and Cheese : Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the broiler. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the macaroni and stir to separate the noodles. Cook until tender, drain and set aside.

3. In the now empty stockpot, heat the butter over medium-high heat, then add the onions. Saute until tender. Add the flour, mustard, cayenne, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and whisk well to combine. Contiue whisking until the mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk: bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly ( the mixture must reach a full boil to fully thicken), then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking occassionally, until thickened to the consistancy of heavy cream, about five minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cheese until fully melted. (*Add the can of stewed tomatoes here, if you wish, or leave them out) Add the pasta and cook over medium low heat, stiring constantly until the mixture is steaming and heated through, about six minutes.

4.* Transfer the mixture to a broiler safe 13x 9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Broil until deep golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then serve.

*I usually bake this dish instead of broil it. I bake at 350 degrees until top is golden and casserole is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

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