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      RECIPE TITLE "Classic Macaroni and Cheese" from Fine Cooking Magazine,

    yieldsServes 6-8time--- difficultyeasy

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    For the Casserole:

    1 lb elbow macaroni
    12 Tab. sweet butter
    6 Tab. flour
    1/2 med onion, thinly sliced
    1 bay leaf
    1 sprig thyme
    9 black peppercorns
    4 1/2 cup milk
    2 teas. salt
    1 teas. freshly ground black pepper
    pinch nutmeg
    6 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded

    For theTopping:
    1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
    2 Tab. melted sweet butter

      RECIPE METHOD

    Heat the oven to 375º and butter a 9 x 13" baking dish. Bring a lg pot of salted water to a boil and add the elbows;cook until just tender following the pkg and drain well. Melt the butter in a heavy med saucepan over med heat. Add the flour, onion, bay leaf, thyme andpeppercorns; cook over med low heat for 2-3 min., stirring constantly. Slowly whisk the milk into the roux until thoroughly combined. Raise the heat to med high; whisk constantly until the mixture boils. Simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Lower the heat and continue simmering for ab. 10 min., stirring constantly. Strain the sauce into a lg bowl, removing the onion, herbs and peppercorns. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and shredded cheese, stirring until the cheese is just melted. Toss the pasta with the cheese sauce and pour the mixture into the baking dish. Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and spread them over the casserole. Bake until sizzling and lightly browned on top (cover with foil if the top browns too quickly), ab. 40 minutes.


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