MMMM...Macaroni and Cheese. The essence of comfort food. Simply mention the name and it takes you home. This is the best macaroni and cheese recipe in the world and not a holiday has passed in over a decade when this wasn't on my table. I'm sure it will be a favorite of yours too.
* 1/2 pound butter, plus extra for the baking dish
* 1 1/4 pounds elbow macaroni
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 2 cups whole milk
* 1 small (1/4 to 1/3 pound) onion, diced small (about 1/2 cup)
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup flour
* 5 cups (1 1/4 pounds) shredded sharp cheddar
* 8 slices American cheese, broken into small pieces
* 2 cups (1/2 pound) grated Parmesan
* 3 tablespoons green hot chile sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 by 13 by 4-inch baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the macaroni until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
In a small bowl, combine the cream and milk.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/2 pound of butter and cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add the cream mixture in a steady stream and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in 4 cups of the cheddar, the American cheese, 1 cup of the grated Parmesan, the hot pepper sauce, and cumin. Stir until all the cheese has melted; the sauce will be very thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pasta. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar, then the Parmesan, and finally the bread crumbs.
Bake uncovered on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and brown on top.