m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Mac and Cheese

The recipe was online briefly, but I assume it is gone already.

panko mac'n'cheese


  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack, shredded (2 c.)
  • 8 oz. cheddar, shredded (2 c.)
  • 5 c. milk
  • 8 T. unsalted butter
  • 6 T. flour
  • ½ T. (1 ½ tsp.) mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. macaroni, cooked with 1 T. salt past al dente but not al squishy
  • 1 c. panko


  1. Cook pasta.
  2. Work 3 T. of the butter into the panko with your fingers.
  3. In the pasta pan or Dutch oven, on medium-high, heat 5 T. butter to foaming.
  4. Whisk in flour and spices. Whisk another minute.
  5. Whisk in milk slowly. Bring to full boil stirring constantly.
  6. Simmer on medium 5 minutes until the thickness of heavy cream.
  7. Remove from heat and add cheese and salt.
  8. Add pasta and return to medium-low heat for 6 minutes. in the pot
  9. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish, top with crumb mixture, and broil 3-5 minutes.
  10. Cool 5 minutes before serving.


The original recipe called for 5 slices bread pulsed with the butter in a food processor. I have never made it that way.

Don’t put the pan too close to the broiler if using panko as a substitute for fresh breadcrumbs. Also, note that the original recipe said not to do that (but I almost always do it).

panko closeup

I tried doubling the cayenne pepper, to little effect. I may need some new cayenne pepper…

You can substitute 8 oz. of Pepper Jack for the 8 oz. of Monterey Jack without making the mac'n'cheese obnoxiously spicy.

If you’re low on panko, you can replace some with almond flour, or, preferably, almond meal.