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Mac and Cheese

Nyesha Arrington
This recipe comes from culinary and television star Nyesha Arrington. Best known for her stints on Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas and Food Network’s Chef Hunter, Arrington is currently the executive chef at Leona in Venice, Calif.
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter divided, plus 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ cups warmed whole milk plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 ½ cups grated Cantal Gruyère, or sharp cheddar cheese, divided (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2½-quart casserole dish.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until very soft and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt remaining 2½ tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is pale yellow and frothy, about 2 minutes. Do not allow it to brown.
  • Slowly whisk in milk, continuing to whisk until roux boils and thickens enough to coat the back of
  • a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Reduce heat to low, add 3 cups of cheese, and stir until cheese melts. The sauce should be the consistency of pancake batter, so thin with milk if necessary.
  • Stir in macaroni, onions, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, and pour mixture into the greased dish. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.
  • In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole.
  • Bake until casserole is warmed through and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve warm.