But if you don't like to cook, I highly recommend Trader Joe's 4 cheese mac & cheese. It's in the freezer section, and it's phenomenal. Maybe you should stop reading this post and go out and buy it right now. It really is that good. I keep one on hand in my freezer in case I get a craving.
Here's how to make my favorite mac & cheese...
Mac & Cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 1-1/2 pounds Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 pound dry elbow macaroni
- 3/4 cup Panko or plain dry bread crumbs*
- Cayenne pepper**
*Panko is a Japanese bread crumb, look in the Asian section of supermarket
**If serving to children or guests, don't make dish too spicy
Preheat oven to 350º. Bring a large pot of water to boil for macaroni. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
While water is boiling, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly until lightly browned. Ensure mixture does not burn.
Add the milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add mustard. Add cayenne to taste. Stir in cheese and cook over low heat, stirring until melted. Salt to taste.
Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain well. Return macaroni to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and stir until combined. Spread the macaroni in prepared baking dish.
In a small glass bowl, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in microwave. Add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, stir until moistened. Sprinkle mixture over macaroni.
Bake for 45 minutes or until it's reached perfect bubbly yumminess. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.