Bombproof Mac and Cheese

Bombproof mac and cheese

Still chili? A little cranky even? Crunchy-topped mac and cheese to the rescue!

Here it is, the end of March, and we’re still in search of comfort food. Well, I for one will take depressing rain at the end of March over depressing rain in February any day! All well and good, but it leaves us with depressing rain. Which leaves us with a need for mac and cheese. My kids would argue that this need is equally urgent in any season. Their gold standard for homemade mac and cheese involves the crunchy breadcrumbs on top and absolutely no green of any kind. Boys, as long as we hold the parsley your ship has come in.

This recipe comes straight from a fellow ski racer Mom in Colorado who frequently finds herself with a houseful of hungry teenagers. As she says, “The true beauty of this is that two ski race dads dumped the whole casserole in a crock pot at Winter Park and served it for lunch with a ladle into plastic cups—genius!” Dads in a ski lodge dishing out hot food into plastic cups? I am so in! Thank you Tania (who clearly knows that parsley can be a deal killer) and I hope you are seeing some sun out in Colorado.

 And now, we bring you…

Bombproof No-Boil Mac and Cheese   

From Bon Appetit, by way of our Rocky Mtn correspondent Tania

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter divided
1/4 flour
3 cup whole milk
3 cups water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb elbow mac (or bigger tubes like rigatoni, medium shells, etc)
2 cups shredded cheddar divided
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup panko
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley (never used it)

Method

Preheat oven to 400.

Melt 1/4 c butter in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add flour whisking constantly for 1 min. Whisk in milk and 3 c water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cook, whisking often, for 10 min.  It should be a thin glossy sauce. Add salt and pepper. Remove sauce from heat.

Toss pasta and 1 1/2 cups of cheese in a 3 quart baking dish.  Pour sauce over pasta.  It should be submerged.  Don’t stir.  Cover with foil and bake 20 min.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 c butter in large skillet over med heat.  Add garlic, panko and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove foil from dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover with panko mixture.
Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes or until pasta is tender, edges are bubbling and top is golden brown.

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