Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound macaroni (elbow or penne or twist). Can use gluten free but they tend to fall apart.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream (heated to almost boiling)
2 cups milk (heated to almost boiling)
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 cup freshly shredded sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar cheese (about 6 oz.)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (about 3 oz.)
1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.) (can substitute sharp cheddar cheese)
2 large egg yolks
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder (may substitute horseradish)
1 tablespoon melted butter
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh clove garlic pressed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Butter 10-12 cup baking dish.
Cook pasta according to instructions to al-dente, rinse in warm water and set aside.
Making the roux (basic white sauce start):
In a heavy large saucepan over medium-high to high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. When it bubbles, gradually sprinkle and whisk in the flour to form a smooth paste. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes without browning.
Whisking continuously, gradually pour the hot milk and cream into the roux. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard. Briskly whisk the egg yolks into the pan.
Making the cheese sauce:
In three batches, whisk in the cheese (except parmesan cheese) until smooth. Simmer over low heat, whisking often until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, 15-20 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese whisking until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
In large mixing bowl combine macaroni and cheese mixture, stir well to coat all pasta. Spread the mixture in the buttered baking dish.
Mix together breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan cheese and melted butter. Sprinkle over the macaroni mixture.
Cook in the center of the oven for 25-35 minutes uncovered until the pasta is heated through and the topping is crisp and golden brown.