Chef notes

Mac and cheese is America’s ultimate comfort food — and very much mine, too. But getting the center creamy and the outside crusty eludes most of us. This recipe cracks the code.

Technique tip: If the center heats past 180 F, the cheese sauce can break, and if that happens your mac will be a greasy mess.

Swap option: Works with most any semi-hard cheese.

Preparation

1.

Preheat the oven to 350 F

2.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring frequently, until fully cooked according to the directions on the package. Drain and reserve.

3.

In a blender, mix the milk, eggs, flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, cottage cheese and mixed grated cheese, and blend on high until completely incorporated (about 2 minutes).

4.

In a large bowl, mix the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce.

5.

Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a 9-by 13-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly, then bake 35 minutes.

6.

Rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.