Macaroni & Cheese


½ pound macaroni, cooked – 2 cups dried
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1¼ cups milk, heated

Pinch cayenne (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
1½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs



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  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don’t let it brown — about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  6. Stir in ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  7. Remove from the heat.
  8. Butter a 1 ½-quart casserole.
  9. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork.
  10. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top and spread the crumbs over the cheese.
  11. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.