From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.
Martha's Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The original recipe calls for gruyere cheese. I happened to have fontina on hand so I decided to substitute. I also read that others have substituted swiss, but cannot promise the results on that one. Both fontina and gruyere are on the expensive side, which is also why this is not an everyday dish, but definitely worth the splurge. On the milk, I used reduced fat 2%... because that is what I had, not because I was trying to trick myself into thinking I was saving any calories.
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
3 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch pieces
2 3/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)
1 cup fontina cheese (see recipe notes above about cheese type)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
Step by Step
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread and toss to coat. Set aside.
Return pan to medium heat (no need to clean it out from the butter that is left) and heat the milk in it.
In a high sided skillet, melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. When butter melts, add flour and whisk for 1 minute.
While whisking, slowly pour milk into flour mixture. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 2 cups of cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cup of fontina cheese; set cheese sauce aside.
Cook macaroni according to directions on package but undercook 2 to 3 minutes. The macaroni should be done on the outside and undercooked on the inside. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water in a colander; drain well. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese and fontina cheese on top. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of cheese.
Bake until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish on a wired rack and cool for 5 minutes. Serve hot.