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Chrissy's Mac andCheese by

If you cannot get American cheese where you live, a good substitute would be Colby cheese. The original recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon or more cayenne pepper, but since I would be serving this to the boys, I just used a small amount. If you like spicy, ramp it up!

Ingredients

For the Bread Crumbs
8 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
For the Mac and Cheese
1 pound pasta shells (I used medium size shells)
1 teaspoon olive oil
cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups (1200 ml) whole milk
12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
12 ounces Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded (3 cups)
12 ounces American cheese, diced small
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 913-inch baking dish with butter.

Make the Bread Crumbs:

2. In a food processor, process the bread until it forms fine crumbs (you should have about 4 cups crumbs).

3. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When it foams, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the bread crumbs, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until toasty and browned, 7 to 9 minutes.

5. Stir in the salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and transfer to a large plate to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Make the Mac and Cheese:

6. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the al dente directions on the package (if not included, cook for one minute less than called for).

7. Drain, rinse and toss with the vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

8. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted.

9. Add the flour and cook, constantly whisking, until it turns a light and toasty brown color, 3 to 6 minutes. Gradually add the milk while whisking, then increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil.

10. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking, until it thickens, 4 to 5 minutes.

11. Add the cheeses, a few handfuls at a time, and whisk the sauce until smooth.

12. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the cooked pasta, and season to taste with more salt and pepper.

13. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish and spread the bread crumbs evenly over the top.

14. Bake until the topping is browned and crisp and the cheese is bubbling, about 8 minutes to 10 minutes. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Servings: 8

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