Macaroni and Cheese
Sara Moulton Shares a Classic Side
Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. There are as many variations on this classic dish as there are problems a few delicious bites can solve. "Good Morning America" food editor Sara Moulton demonstrated this recipe from Gourmet Magazine.
For those who prefer macaroni and cheese with a greater ratio of crunchy topping to creamy center, we suggest dividing the macaroni and cheese between two 3-quart shallow baking dishes and doubling the topping recipe, dividing it between the baking dishes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. and butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Fill a 6-quart kettle three-fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for macaroni.
Make topping: Melt butter and in a bowl stir together with panko or regular bread crumbs and cheddar until combined well. Topping may be made a day ahead and chilled, covered.
Make sauce: In a 5-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over moderately low heat and stir in flour and red pepper flakes. Cook roux, stirring, for three minutes and whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally for three minutes. Stir in cream, cheddar, mustard, salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.
Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in colander. In a large bowl stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water and sauce. Transfer mixture to baking dish.
Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Courtesy of Gourmet magazine