Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
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With satisfying heft and bright flavor, this custard-based mac and cheese has lots going for it--as long as you can keep the eggs from scrambling.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Unlike standard, saucy, béchamel-based macaroni and cheese, Southern-style macaroni and cheese is made with a cold custard, and bakes into a nearly sliceable casserole. Starting with cold custard required long baking to get the center to se... Read More
GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
The macaroni will still be firm after cooking according to the directions in step 1 (it will finish cooking in the oven). Barilla Elbows won the test kitchen's taste test of elbow macaroni.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt and cook for 5 minutes. Drain macaroni; set aside. Toss mild cheddar with cornstarch; set aside.
In now-empty saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl and reserve.
Return saucepan to medium heat and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in water and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove cream sauce from heat and whisk in mild cheddar–cornstarch mixture until melted. Whisk in eggs, yolk, and Worcestershire. Stir in parcooked macaroni. Transfer macaroni and cheese to 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, then panko. Bake until well browned and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 20 -minutes. Serve.