m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Mac and Cheese

The recipe was online briefly, but I assume it is gone already. The recipe sounds quick because the time is all hidden in the bringing the milk to a full boil step.

Serves: 4–6

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.
  6. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Simmer on medium 5 minutes until the thickness of heavy cream.
  8. Remove from heat and add cheese and salt.
  9. Add pasta and return to medium-low heat for 6 minutes. in the pot
  10. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish, top with crumb mixture, and broil 3-5 minutes.
  11. 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.

You can leave the pasta al dente if you prefer it that way.