I was never a fan of macaroni and cheese as a kid. Maybe because the only time we ever had it was with liver and cooked beets (sorry, Mom – I still just don’t get that meal). ??? The cooked beets would always run into the mac and cheese on my plate and well, ewww. And I won’t even start on the liver.

For most of my time as a mom, however, I have been in search of a good macaroni and cheese recipe. I’ve tried them all: stove top recipes, super fancy recipes, recipes with cheeses I didn’t know existed, recipes with Velveeta…yeah, I’ve been around the mac n’ cheese block, still not finding the right consistency or flavor, etc.

I’m here to tell you that I may have found it this time. Maybe it’s the chicken broth? Or maybe it’s the smooth, not-too-runny, not-too-dry consistency. Either way, this mac and cheese was a huge hit with the fam. It has the perfect combo of cheesy-ness without being overly rich. Enjoy!

Macaroni & Cheese

1 lb. macaroni
6 T. Butter
1 clove Garlic, Pressed
1 t. Dry Mustard
¼ t. Cayenne Pepper
6 T. Flour
1-¾ cup Chicken Broth
3-½ cups Whole Milk
2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. Colby-Jack Cheese, Shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
Bread crumbs
2 T. butter, cut into little cubes

Put water on to boil macaroni. Once boiling, salt the water and add macaroni. Cook for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add the butter to large pan and heat on medium heat until melted. Add the garlic, mustard, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk; bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until large bubbles form on the surface and the mixture is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cheeses gradually until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir, breaking up any clumps, until well combined. Pour into a 9 x 13″ baking dish and sprinkle with desired amount of bread crumbs. Spread little cubes of butter over bread crumbs. (It will seem like it has far too much of the cheesy sauce, but don’t worry the macaroni soaks it up and it ends up “just right!”) Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.