One of the reasons why I look forward to winter is HOMEMADE MACNCHEESE. There are so many different ways to make it but I always make sure to put extra cheese and breadcrumbs on top for crusty deliciousness : ) In this particular version, I added broccoli and cauliflower because that's what we had!
1 pound of dried macaroni noodles
2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small bunch broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 small bunch cauliflower, chopped in the same way
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
breadcrumbs and extra butter for the top
Start with making the roux, which thickens the cream mixture that you pour on top of the pasta. Melt the butter until it is bubbly and then add the flour while stirring to incorporate. Keep stirring the mixture for several minutes, letting it get browned on the stove. You'll see the color darken and the roux will start to smell nutty and rich.
Then pour in the milk and the half and half. Keep the heat on medium and bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally.
Once the milk mixture start simmering, take it off the stove and add 2 cups of the cheese to the mixture. Wait one minute, then stir slowly to mix.
Then sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese on top of the pans. Add the extra butter and breadcrumbs on top of the cheese. This is what it looks like before going in the oven: