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Homemade Crispy Mac ‘n Cheese

November 18, 2009

by Emily
From brownies, to breakfast casseroles, to mac ‘n cheese, I heart the corner piece.  You might be a soft, doughy, mushy middle piece kind of person.  I can respect that.  But if you are anything like me, the corner piece is the natural winner.  It inevitably has the most crust, is never mushy, soggy, or under-cooked, and if the dish is mac ‘n cheese, it is by far the crispiest!

I have heard for a couple of years that the NY Times recipe is terrific for turning every piece into that beloved corner piece.  I gave it the ultimate test and found that diving a serving spoon right in the middle of a very large 9″ x 13″ Pyrex dish will serve even the pickiest corner piecers well.  I doubt the middle piecers will complain either…

Crispy Mac ‘n Cheese
Adapted from: NY Times’ Crusty Macaroni & Cheese

3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
12 ounces American cheese or cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (I used American)
1 pound elbow pasta prepared according to package directions, drained, and rinsed under cool water
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)  (I doubled this and wish I had tripled or quadrupled)
Salt to taste

2/3 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex dish.  Combine grated cheeses in a large bowl.  Set aside two heaping cups for topping.  In another large bowl, toss together the drained and rinsed pasta, cheeses, cayenne, and salt to taste.  Place in Pyrex dish and evenly pour milk over surface.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and dot the top with remaining butter.  Bake for 45 minutes then raise the oven temperature to 400˚ and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until perfectly crispy on top and bottom.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    November 23, 2009 12:14 pm

    Best Mac and Cheese! I feel very lucky that I got to try the amazingness pictured above. At some point, I might attempt to make it…

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