Tell me what you think could possibly be better than a big ole skillet of mac and cheese! If my family could, they’d load up on Mac and Cheese carbs every night of the week. My boys adore skillet mac and cheese, even in the summer, when it’s hotter than heck. I’m always glad to oblige since a stove-top meal at that point in time keeps the house MUCH cooler than turning on the oven. This is a rock solid recipe, always providing the ultra-creamy and luscious experience that Mac and Cheese longs to give everyone.
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 Tbs. all purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1 lb. coarsely-grated Alma Creamery New York Sharp or Mild Cheddar, approx. 6 cups (I like the sharp cheddar, my family likes the mild cheddar)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. good olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, minced
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
To prepare crumb topping, melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add panko and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook and stir this mixture for a few minutes until nicely browned and slightly crisped, approx. 3-4 minutes, taking care not to burn garlic. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When mixture is cool, add shredded parmesan and salt; toss to combine.
To prepare macaroni, add to a large pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, making sure not to overcook macaroni. Drain macaroni and set aside.
In a very large, deep skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat; add flour to butter and whisk to incorporate, creating your roux. Cook, whisking constantly, until roux is nicely golden brown, approx. 3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk and cream, again whisking constantly, raising heat to medium high to bring sauce to a nice, low boil – never stop whisking!
Reduce sauce to a simmer, lowering heat a bit, and cook until sauce is thickened, approx 3-4 minutes longer. Stir in salt, mustard, and pepper, then add cheeses in small batches, making sure each batch is completely melted before adding more.
Remove skillet from heat and drained macaroni, tossing gently to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with prepared topping and let macaroni rest in skillet for 5 minutes before serving.
**Please note: Macaroni can be transferred to a greased 9 x 13 pan., sprinkled with topping, and baked, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes in a 375 degree F. oven, if desired. My family likes their macaroni extra-creamy, so we always eat it straight from the skillet.
Also, because my guys and their friends are meat lovers, I typically turn this into a complete skillet meal by stirring in fully cooked meats, such as steak bites or pork tenderloin pieces (or occasionally leftover grilled chicken breast) just before adding the topping.
Now You’re Cookin’,
**This recipe was featured on Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with From the Land of Kansas, as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, June 2015. To order your favorite From the Land of Kansas products, visit our our new ecommerce sight!
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