Macaroni + Cheese
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces milk cheddar cheese
8 ounces colby cheese
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
Place 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, while stirring constantly.
Add the milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add half of the cheese and continue to cook over low heat until melted. Stir in the cayenne and nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook the macaroni per the package instructions until al dente. Drain well. Place the macaroni in the pot.
Add the cheese sauce to the pasta. Stir in the remaining cheese and mix until well combined. Pour the macaroni in the prepared baking dish.
Place the panko bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a microwave. Pour the butter into the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Evenly sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the macaroni. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown on top.
Remove form the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.