Extra-creamy, this will become a family favorite.
nonstick cooking spray
½ pound elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups (about 6 ounces) shredded cheese (we use a variety of Cheddar, Gruyère and Monterey Jack for ultimate creaminess and flavor)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
dash hot sauce
1½ cups prepared white-bread croutons
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 319 (44% from fat) • carb. 32g • pro. 12g • fat 15g • sat. fat 10g • chol. 43mg • sod. 429mg • calc. 260mg • fiber 1g
1. Lightly coat a 9-inch square or round baking pan with cooking spray; reserve.
2. Cook macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. Toss with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking; reserve.
3. Put a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue to cook, constantly stirring, for about 2 minutes to cook the flour. While whisking, slowly add the milk to the butter/flour mixture. Raise the heat slightly to bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring so a film does not form on the bottom of the pot. Cook until the mixture becomes very thick, about 30 to 45 minutes. Once thickened, stir in the shredded cheeses until sauce is smooth. Add the salt, hot sauce and then the macaroni, stirring to combine. Finally, stir in 1 cup of the croutons, and remove from heat.
4. Preheat the Compact Toaster Oven Broiler set to Bake at 350°F with the rack in position A for 5 minutes.
5. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining ½ cup of croutons on the top and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and switch the oven to Broil and cook for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top.