Good ol’ macaroni and cheese, why would you need a recipe from Chrissy Teigen when Kraft has produced a box version that you can make in minutes? Well, Teigen’s mac and cheese comes with a golden-brown crust of cheesy garlic breadcrumbs that turns the American archetypal casserole from good to great. And she uses a. lot. of. cheese. To be exact, there are three types: Gruyere, cheddar, and orange American cheese (slices of Kraft square cheese).
CHRISSY’S MAC AND CHEESE WITH CHEESY GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS
SERVES: 8 TO 12 | LEVEL: MODERATE
PREP TIME: 45 minutes | TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
1 pound pasta shells
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 cups grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
3⁄4 pound orange American cheese (about 16 slices)
Freshly ground black pepper
3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Cheesy Garlic Bread Crumbs
Cheesy garlic bread crumbs
MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS
PREP TIME: 5 minutes TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
8 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
6 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- In a food processor, process the bread until it forms fine crumbs (you should have about 4 cups crumbs). Transfer the crumbs to a bowl. Add the garlic to the processor and process until finely minced (or do it by hand).
- In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When it foams, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic smells great but hasn’t browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until toasty and browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and transfer to a large plate to cool for 5 minutes. Toss in the Parm.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta a minute less than called for on the package. Drain, rinse, and toss with the oil to prevent sticking.
- Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with a little butter.
- In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat the 1 stick butter over medium-high heat until melted but not browning.
- Add the flour and cook, constantly whisking, until it turns a light and toasty brown color, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Gradually add the milk while whisking, then increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking, until it thickens, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cheeses, a few handfuls/slices at a time, reserving a handful of the cheese, and whisk the sauce until smooth. Whisk in 2 teaspoons salt, 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, and the cayenne.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, season to taste with more salt and pepper, and cook until the pasta is hot again.
- Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and spread the bread crumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake until the topping is browned and crisp, about 8 minutes.