a guest Dec 14th, 2019 95 Never
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  1.     kosher salt
  3.     ½ pound (225 g) elbow macaroni
  5.     4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  7.     4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  9.     1¼ cups milk
  11.     3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  13.     ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  15.     ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  17.     1 teaspoon hot sauce
  19.     1 teaspoon yellow mustard, or ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  21.     1 cup grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  23.     ⅔ cup crushed butter cracker crumbs (about 15 crackers), or panko bread crumbs
  27.     Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
  29.     In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook the elbow macaroni until it’s just shy of al dente, about 5 minutes (or 2 minutes less than the cooking time listed on the package). Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  31.     Toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon of the butter, until the butter is melted and the pasta is evenly coated. Set aside.
  33.     In a large saucepan, melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a paste. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute or until the flour is lightly cooked.
  35.     Whisk in about half of the milk to form a thick paste. (Make sure to get into all corners of the pan while mixing as the paste tends to stick.) Add the remaining milk to the pan and mix it well to combine. The sauce will initially become very thick, then it will thin out once all of the milk is added. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce comes to a simmer and begins to thicken again. Turn off the heat and, working in increments, whisk in the cheddar cheese until it forms a smooth cheese sauce.
  37.     Whisk in the garlic powder, paprika, hot sauce, and mustard or mustard powder. Taste the sauce and season it with salt, if necessary.
  39.     Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased 8-inch baking dish and stir in the grated Gruyere cheese.
  41.     In a small mixing bowl, add the crushed butter crackers or panko bread crumbs and 1½ tablespoons of melted butter. Mix well to combine. (If using panko bread crumbs, you may want to season them with a little salt.) Top the surface of the mac and cheese with the buttered bread crumbs.
  43.     Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the top is nicely browned. Let the mac & cheese cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
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